Change is one of the scariest things out there. Says the woman who still uses the original Yahoo! email format and always finds a way to the magic reset button every time they ‘upgrade’ the damned thing.
Mind you, I change and grow faster and more often than just about anyone I know. If I have not seen a friend in a couple of months they are often left shaking their heads at all the news and updates.
But that does NOT mean that I too do not find change scary. I do just like everyone else. But there is something that I fear more…
Of course, leave it to Fate to balance me out with my children.
My eldest is nicknamed Mister Stability for a reason, folks. And it is probably all my fault. All those moves over the years has made him crave it. Still he is MY son and when the cards are down he always finds the courage to pursue his dreams.
About five years ago, he was unhappy in a job that he has once loved. A couple of times a week for almost a month, he came over after work. He paced, talked and planned. We began with brainstorming options. You see even when they all look like that suck…remember…you ALWAYS have options.
We narrowed that list down to viable ones. Then I shit you not we put them all into an Excel spreadsheet…a decision matrix. But in the end his gut still won…a dream he just HAD to follow: to join the Navy.
He quit that stable but miserable job and moved back to America. He had to sleep on the couch of his younger brother’s apartment…sometimes with as many as three or four other people…not all on the couch.
But it is not as simple as walking into the recruiters office and straight into boot camp. Especially since he had to lose almost 50 pounds to medically qualify. It took him almost a year (10 or 11 months), but he did it. Of course, he was miserable and filled with self doubts that whole time…but he did it in the end. He fulfilled his dream!
Four years later and his first enlistment is up. He has gotten a new assignment…at the Pentagon. Trouble is…he is stuck right dab in the middle of that transition once more. His beloved fiance called the other night because she had sort of let him have it when he was whining about it…for the hundredth time or more. I let her off the hook but I did explain what a tough time he has with transitions. It is not the first and it won’t be the last time they face this issue.
But if my oldest has his moments they are NOTHING compared to my youngest…PanKwake. Any change is especially hard on individuals on the autistic spectrum and she is no different.
Right now she and I are like caterpillars who have spun themselves (well Fate did it actually) into a chrysalis awaiting the transformation to butterflies. It may well be the biggest and certainly the most important change of my life…a really good one too. But it is a change nonetheless…and that is all it takes to set her off.
Yesterday was bad! It was constant…I’m not going! By the time she fell asleep, I was in tears. Because as much as I love my daughter and for eleven years now have sacrificed everything (right down to my life in some ways) for her…I can’t this time. This one is so monumental that I would regret it for the rest of my life…and in the end…that would keep me from being the best mother possible to her.
I called that daughter-in-law to be and she took her turn giving Mommy a peep talk and reminding me that I do deserve to be happy.
Funny thing is…today the storm has passed and she is Little Miss Mary Sunshine. Helping me to pack, talking about the trip and smiling. Of course, who knows what tomorrow brings as we face the reality of trains…and the uncertainty of change…even wonderful as it is.