Just days before a new school year began we were able to squeeze in one last hike to the last remaining falls on our summer check list. As we began this finale hike we first got to enjoy a wide open path perfect for a little peaceful exploring. Then…Just a few moments in…the trail narrowed and I began to feel more and more on edge. The forest floor beneath our feet crumbled and shifted. The inclines and declines became noticeably steeper…Well unless you were a little six year old boy named Jonah who was far too preoccupied by his new character role as a “great explorer/seeker of lost treasure” to notice any danger…I mean Indiana Jones never had time for fear…Well I guess there was the issue of snakes…Anyways…You get the idea. Following closely behind her big brother, Annah…whom has not a care in the world…including where her feet will land…carelessly meandered…and doddled…and frolicked…and put her mother’s nerves to the test. Peaceful exploring had suddenly turned into something entirely different…Well for me anyways;)
As we went further along on our hike my feelings about the drastic change in the trail started to resemble more and more how I was feeling about the present change that was now happening for our little family. Honestly…I hadn’t really spent the time to notice just how I was dealing…or I guess not dealing with it all until that very moment. I had been so preoccupied by the wide open path of summer that I didn’t see that the trail had begun to narrow. I tend to do that. Ignore change…Until it smacks me right upside the head. With only moments to spare before Fall officially arrived I found myself surrounded by it’s imminent arrival. A new season was on approach and with it came that familiar feeling of being on edge and a sudden lack of confidence in my foothold. Soon my little Indiana Jones in training would be heading into 1st grade and my little carefree baby girl would be starting her last year of “home schooling” with Mommy.
I always catch myself in these moments…The moments where I realize that in my silly little attempt to not think about the change ahead I miss out on all those beautiful moments of anticipation. All of a sudden the moment is upon me…and it rests heavy on my unprepared heart. I once asked my mother how she dealt with the change of life’s seasons. I guess expecting some sort of long poetic and wisdom filled response I was certainly taken back by “I just did.” She just dealt with it…The end. It would take a few more seasons to realize just how much wisdom those three words really held.
My mother…along with my father…just so happened to be on the hike with us. I now feel it necessary to explain that my mother was one of those “laid back, what will be will be, find your own way” kind of mothers. I’m sure as I practically hurled myself over the edge to protect my children from (what looked like to me) their certain stumble to death she was finding it hard to bite her tongue. Well…Actually…Come to think of it…I believe in her “let me tell you without really telling you, as I show you without really showing you how to find your own way” kind of way she may have told me to chill out. The rascal;) Twenty nine years later and my mother still has an amazing gift for untangling the long string of knots I have in my stomach. She effortlessly un-complicates what I have spent hours…perhaps even days trying to complicate in my own mind. On that ever changing trail she did it for me again…Perhaps without the knowledge she was doing so…Or perhaps she knew full well what she was doing;)
Change, she’s a’comin. Ready or not….Like it or not…I still have to walk on down it. More importantly I still have to learn to loosen my anxiety filled grip on my children as they too walk down it. I need to “chill out”, let loose and dance down this path with them. It’s not as though I can keep the changing seasons from coming…And why would I want to? Each and every season should be anticipated and celebrated. Yes their lives will forever and always be full of exhausting inclines and terrifying declines. The ground beneath their feet will shift and crumble. …But as some great mother once said “There is no use worrying about something you cannot change.”…Even if that “something” is change itself…It’s just kinda one of those things you just have to…”deal with”…The end.