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Today's Family Magazine

Season of Change

By Stacy Turner

Change is hard, even when you know it’s for the best. This school year was a big one for us since my kids both started at a new school.  As soon as we knew the change was coming, we let them know so they had time to wrap their heads around it. We’ve all had some angst –– each of us in our own way.  We know that this is completely normal and to be expected.  And even though our kids have done really well, the road hasn’t been completely without its share of bumps.

All along, we’ve tried to keep some consistency with things that are under our control.  Thanks to texting, FaceTime and social media, they can still keep in touch with their BFFs, and they still cringe when we refer to their friends in that way.  They still go to the same karate and youth group with the same kids they’ve been with all along.  We still have pizza movie night once a week.  But now, they spend their days at a new school, with a new group of kids.  And we’re all just trying to do the best that we can.

In talking to our daughter after school one day, her dad tried to encourage our shy child to talk to her new classmates.  He told her what a great opportunity she has.  She gets to meet new people and choose a brand new path for herself in a new place.  Not many know her, so she’s got a clean slate to be whoever she wants to be.  The way he described it, it sounded kind of exciting, starting fresh, meeting new people and getting brand new opportunities. She seemed to be feeling optimistic about it.  Then he explained that going off to college, or even starting out a new job will be similar, but now she’ll know what to do.  I think this made her feel more grown-up for a hot second.  Then the truth of the matter sank in, and he heard the full wrath of tween indignation. “What are you talking about?  You mean I’ve got to do this all over again?!!”

They say that an artist isn’t always appreciated in his own time.  I think this may also be the case for dads and the wise words they try to impart to their kids.  It’s the same for moms, too.

Later, my other child shared what she’s been learning in financial literacy class, about balancing checkbooks and setting budgets and paying bills.  She admitted that being an adult doesn’t sound as fun as she used to think it was.  I had to agree that yes, some parts of adulting are not very exciting.  But there are good aspects, too.  I also assured her that her dad and I are not in a big hurry for her to move out, pay bills and start an investment portfolio, at least not while she’s in the ninth grade.  I told her it doesn’t happen all at once –– that she’ll have time to learn and adjust and grow up as she goes.  I assured her there’s still time for her to be a kid.  She breathed a sigh of relief. Then she changed the subject and asked what I was making for dinner. I asked, “Didn’t we just have dinner yesterday?”

Even as things are changing, it’s comforting to know that some things stay the same.