CHANGES

People change/ all the time/ they change like you/ I got all the time in the world – Rockapella (People Change)

The truth is: nobody likes change.

People who say they love change are (usually, I believe) referring to the fact that they like implementing change; causing the change; being the agent of change.

But those of us who are having the change implemented on us — no matter how much we say we like change — we ain’t ready for that.

Change always brings grief wrapped on its elbows when it comes uninvited in to our lives.

The grief could be getting over things as minor like: a social media platform changing their layout; the iPhone eliminating the phone jack; Taco Bell getting rid of some of the beloved items on their menu (how can you get rid of the Mexican Pizza? Have you no heart, Taco Bell???)

Sometimes, the grief is bigger; deeper; all encompassing.

We’ve invested so much in how things are the way they are.
Tears; sweat; blood; parts of sanity…
Which is why, when confronted with change — resistance is a normal reaction.

While this post could go in many directions — let’s talk about parenthood, today.
Because change is inevitable when parenting.
So is letting go far more than you’re often ready to let go, that is, if one is ever ready to let go.

My son is growing up fast.
The last pair of shoes I bought him — before this past month — was like a size 4.5 crocs.
A few weeks ago, I went with him to pick up some new shoes.
I had the employee measure his foot because it looked bigger than I recalled.
“He’s… mmm… a size 8 or 8.5,” she informed me.
“He’s a … what? What? I’m really sorry, but could you remeasure his feet?” I pleaded.

Yup. 8.
What?
I was thoroughly annoyed because his shoes are now forever gonna be expensive. At this rate, we may have to special order his shoes in a few years (maybe months…) because of his giant ass (and wide ass) feet.
I don’t remember signing up for paying exuberant amount for shoes. Are they really a necessity…?

At 10 – he’s like 4’11” and a 100 lbs and size 8 shoes.
But he’s my baby. My gigantic baby, but my baby nevertheless.
He still sleeps with (and asks for) his blanket. Like, we have to pack it if he’s staying overnight somewhere. And he still wants to cuddle and be held (even picked up) as if he was still 3.
I mean granted, he may have a body of a 13 year old but cognitively he’s still probably like 5 or 6… which makes the feeling of him growing up a bit more… complicated, emotionally — for me.

This morning, I was taking him to school.
I usually park the car and walk him up to the bus drop off area and help him cross the street to his teachers. Every once in a while, I’ll walk with him to the cafeteria door where his teachers are waiting to receive him.

Well, as we pull up to the school’s parking lot, he says to me, “Daddy, I will cross the street by myself.”
“Oh. Like, do you want me to walk you to the curb?”
“No, just me.”
“Do you want me to get out of the car with you at all?”
“No, just me. By myself.”
“Oh.”

Yo.
I have no idea why my feelings were so hurt.
Are you sure, dude?
Yes. I’m sure.

Another dagger through the heart.

Like — it’s just crossing the bus path.
Why the heck was that making me so sad?

But that’s what he did.
I pulled up to where we’d normally walk.
He got out and said, “Bye” and looked left, looked right, then kinda looked left and cross the bus path.
And he had stopped looking back to say bye a while back (which hurt my feelings too) but I kinda expected him to turn back and say bye.
Nope. Not even that.
How much can my heart take on a friggin’ Monday morning at 8am???

I never knew this was something I’d wanted to hold on to.
It’s so insignificant in the big picture of things, but I was legitimately sad.
And how many of these “insignificant” things will lead a path of resentment that my kid is growing???

Seems like parenthood is nothing but a mixture of emotions; a path of bitter sweetness: rejoicing how our kids are growing but the tinge of sadness that comes with that, realizing that things won’t be the same anymore.
What a stupid calling.

But that’s what they’re supposed to do: grow.
And that’s what we’re supposed to: watch and help them grow while letting go a little bit (or a lotta bit) here and there.

On the way to work, I kinda half joked to myself — I should just let him walk home by himself then, that Oh-I’m-Mr-Independent-Now.

But, I know that if he starts walking home (to and from) school by himself… well, I’d be far more sad than I am now because just how much more would he have grown to be able to do that????

Well..
Here’s to my little big boy growing and becoming the person he’s intended to be.
And here’s to his dad not being overly dramatic to the progress he’s making in life.

And TimeHop… thanks for reminding me today, just how small he was 7 years ago.

Thanks for reading.
When you stumbled upon grammatical errors, I hope you were able to get what I was trying to say rather than what I ended up typing.

One thought on “CHANGES

  1. Oh Joseph, I recall weeping the year my girls were 14 and 15. There was this stupid tampon commercial where the big sister advises the little sister before she goes off to college. My girls couldn’t even drive yet, but I saw that commercial and realized how fast the next three years would go and I wept. By the time the day actually came, I had come to terms with it and was emotionally ready for it and I did not weep. So, get ready…it is all about change.

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