It’s Thanksgiving week, and today Paige will be returning home for the first time since she left for college in August. I can not believe how quickly time has passed. I remember that day, Friday, the 16th like it was yesterday. It is a day etched in my memories as a celebration of her achievement. It’s also a day I remember experiencing grief because a change was about to occur.
Although I was excited for her to take the next step to college, I recognized her leaving was a significant change in my life. She no longer was going to need me around in her day to day doings. Life has since gone on as it always does. Paige adjusted to her college lifestyle, and we adapted to our way of life. Isn’t that how life goes?
We learn to adapt to the situations presented to us. At the time we are going through them, they may appear monumental, and we might wonder how we are going to carry on once the change takes effect. However, when we look back, we often view the experience differently. It’s almost as if we see it through a different set of eyes.
On a recording of my podcast, my cohost and I were discussing our favorite holidays as a child. That podcast airs today at Starter Girlz if you want to catch the details of that conversation. I mentioned the usual favorites, Christmas and Thanksgiving. I also love Halloween because I love the horror genre, and I have fond memories of watching scary movies with my dad.
I described in the conversation that my parents made our holidays as children fun. Yes, we did the usual things like visit family, but my parents did extra cool things. During Easter, they would hide Easter eggs after we went to bed and tell us the Easter Bunny hid them. When we lost a tooth, they would write us a letter from the Tooth Fairy and leave pixie dust on our dressers. During Christmas, they would wrap presents from Santa and place them under the tree. It was a huge ordeal.
I recounted to my cohost that I was probably one of the last kids to know that it was all make-believe, and when I learned this, I was angry. However, not in the way, you might think. I wasn’t upset because I knew it was a lie; I was sad that it was over. A change occurred, and I didn’t ask for it. As one would predict, I accepted it and moved on with my life. I became an adult.
My kids were never quite impressed with the Santa, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth fairy thing. I am sure that was something to do with the fact that I didn’t play it up quite as well as my parents did. Times have changed. It seems like they found out much earlier through other kids that it was make-believe. I remember not entirely understanding why they didn’t see it the same was as I did, and as they slowly accepted the reality that it was all make-belief, we once again took those changes as they occurred and moved on.
My point here is that we all perceive things about our situations in a certain way while we are experiencing them. Some of those perceptions are good, and some are bad. Change is inevitable. At the moment we are sitting right smack dab in the middle of the situation, we may find our judgment impaired, and our decision making may not be stable. We will most likely experience a flood of emotions. However, we generally come to accept the change, we adapt, and hopefully, we find the positive memory that comes from the experience.
All of these stories I recounted in this blog seemed pretty significant at the time. I know there were conversations about it like; How can Paige be growing up and leaving for college? How can there be no Santa? Why do my kids not get up early in the morning to see what presents are under the tree? Don’t they know about Santa? However, days, months, and years later, I can look back, see those experiences with a new set of eyes, and appreciate those milestones. My view of those circumstances is different now. I found the beauty and the lessons in those experiences.
I am excited to see all of my three not so small children this week. Two of them are adults, and my youngest is learning to drive. Yet, another milestone I am learning to accept.
Enjoy your families this week, and embrace the change.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!