Monday, August 22, 2011

The Season of Change

This weekend I played with my kids at a local splash park. It was a beautiful afternoon, the sun was shining, humidity was low and the kids were having a blast playing in the sprays. I sat and watched them laughing and playing as I enjoyed a relaxing Saturday in the beautiful weather. But the fact that I wasn’t dripping in sweat from a 100 degree heat index, high humidity day reminded me summer is winding to a close.

Yes, like it or not, summer will soon be leaving us and autumn the so-called "season of change" will be upon us. But ironically, this summer has brought more changes for my family than I ever could have imagined. This summer has truly been our "season of change" this year.

L started this summer crawling around and scooting along furniture. He needed me to carry him everywhere and was clearly frustrated with his brother and sister running far ahead of him. Now, not only has L learned to walk, but he runs toe to toe with J and H. He hardly ever wants to be held and gets annoyed with me if I try and slow him down.  At the start of the summer, L never talked. Now he beckons “Ma Mah” to me across the room, asks for snacks, gets me a diaper when I ask him for one, and nods yes and no to indicate his preferences. At the start of the summer, L sat in his high chair throwing a bottle of formula around. Now, he sits at the table in a booster seat with his Toy Story sippy cup proudly in hand. L truly grew from a baby to a toddler in the glow of the summer sun.

For H, his changes were not so much about starting new things as they were about stopping certain behaviors. H started the summer a rambunctious toddler in the midst of the terrible 2-3’s, complete with tantrums, and a "no one can tell me what to do" attitude. But this summer H came out of the "terrible" times and grew into a fun loving, free spirited little boy. He now listens and although he has maintained his signature spunky attitude, he reigns it in to a "I'm not going to get a time out for this" level. H started to love playing sports and playing at the pool. He truly just became a joy to be with and the person I laugh the hardest with. The summer breeze blew away the trying toddler times and welcomed in the fun!

The biggest “changer” this summer was clearly Miss J. Before my eyes she grew up and far surpassed my expectations. This summer J said goodbye to her shy, awkward, scaredy cat stage and became a confident, centered  little girl. When we started the summer she absolutely refused to ride a bike without training wheels or swim due to her fear of both. Now she flies down the sidewalk on her bike and swims like a fish. Earlier this summer at Kindergarten round-up J cried when I left her with the teacher and held tight onto my hand as we walked into school. Now, she absolutely loves school, had zero tears even on the first day, begs me to drop her off at the car, and is eager to meet new friends. The summer heat burnt away all the fear and uncertainty and allowed the confident, excited, independent Miss J to shine through.

Even I have been a victim of summer change. My husband’s job cracked down on overtime forcing him to work 5-6 days a week. At the start of the summer, I’ll admit this was overwhelming to me. I couldn’t imagine how I would be able to be a “single parent” and handle my ever-growing case load. By the end of the summer I found my “stride” getting a comfortable routine with the kids and becoming less overwhelmed by work commitments. I simply got more "chill" as the temperatures raised.

Although I have no idea what caused the dramatic changes in my children, for me I think my changes came from simply coming to grips with the fact I'm not superwoman. I noticed the longer I am a working mother, the more humble I have become. As time passes, balls are dropped, mistakes are made, and lessons are learned I see that admist the chaos my life is staying exactly where I want it to be.

Okay, so maybe this post is turning a little too deep for a Monday morning post about summer. But honestly I think the longer you are a Mom the more you see that your kids are growing to be confident, happy people in spite of your time constraints, your imperfections, your quirks, your challenges. The longer you do it, the more you start to see that it’s going to be okay.

I look at my family now in pure amazement at how just three months could bring so much change in so little time. Now as the temps mellow, the Halloween costume catalogs start filling my mailbox, and sweatshirts start filling my diaper bag, I’m excited for what lies ahead. Bring it on fall...we're ready for yet another "season of change"!


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