It’s happened again. It seems to happen every year about this time; change. I can’t stand that. I just get in the groove and get comfortable with a particular year, a certain stage my children are in and, before I know it, time has slipped through my fingers and we are already looking ahead and planning for the year to come. Much like the little green buds poking through the ground, overnight my children seem to have sprouted and I am once again in disbelief that they have jumped to the next size. One might think I’d be used to this by now. Not a year has gone by in the past thirteen years of being a parent that I haven’t seen these changes. Time doesn’t stand still. They grow. It is what it is.
Don’t get me wrong. I love growth and appreciate all the new and exciting things that come with each stage. It’s just that I’ve never been entirely comfortable with change. New beginnings mean new unknowns and unknowns mean I have little control and little control means mama ain’t happy. I’ve always viewed the more quiet winter months like the slow ride up to the peak of a roller coaster. I can sit back and enjoy the scenery and then spring is sprung and over the top we go; careening toward exactly what I don’t know. It takes my breath away how each year seems to go faster than the last.
With the new buds on the trees and the return of our singing feathered friends, comes the need to review the progress our children have made throughout the year, set appropriate goals for the next few months and begin preparing them for the transition to a new grade. Many questions storm into my anxious heart and my fears quickly take over. The upcoming year in our household means the last year of middle school for our oldest, the first year of middle school for our middle guy, and full day kindergarten for our youngest. In mother’s terms, that means it’s time to hold tight to the bar and scream all the way down.
Once again I find myself with two options; fight for control or hand it over. If I try to fight, I’m well aware I’ll lose the battle. But, if I hand it over, it’s possible things won’t go as I would have them. Tricky thing this whole concept of trust it. While society tells us to plan and take control, God asks us to live and hand it over. As the popular quote so eloquently reads, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery and today is God’s gift.” We can learn a lot from yesterday and we can certainly pray for blessings to be bestowed on us tomorrow, but today, now, is the gift we are meant to behold.
Finding the balance between planning and living is a constant challenge for me. What it really boils down to is whether or not I truly place my trust in God. While I don’t think I’m supposed to throw all caution to the wind and neglect my responsibilities to set appropriate plans in place, it is clear to me that there is so much I’ll miss today if I continue to worry about tomorrow. I’m always so saddened by how quickly time passes, yet so often I let my worries about the future tarnish the gift I have in today.
There are many questions I have about next year. Will my middle guy transition to the new school with the same ease as my eldest? Will he get a few of his good friends in his group of classmates? What teachers will he have and how will he handle the increased workload? Will my daughter be able to make it through full day kindergarten? How will she transition to a new classroom, new teacher and new classmates? Who will her aid be and will she be able to bond with him/her? In the end, I understand I can’t control all the details on my own so I’m called to put it all to prayer. And if and when I can do that, I find great freedom in hanging on tight and enjoying the ride.