This past year was defined by transformation, not only for me but for many others in my life. I wouldn’t have anticipated the change because nothing foreseen prompted it; yet it happened nonetheless. A family event affected me beyond belief and while there were many painful times, the result was self-discovery and growth beyond measurable proportions. For others in my life, the same happened. Making it “through the woods” going through difficult times and learning to cope during those struggles built strength and a better understanding and acceptance of self. Looking at where I began the year to where I am now, I am reminded of other transformations and that nothing is static.
Life is inherently dynamic
When I reflect upon stories of transformation, I always think of our chicken coup. While pregnant with my son, my husband and I decided we wanted chickens. We loved the idea of fresh eggs anytime we wanted. We imagined saving money and maybe selling eggs; teaching our children where food comes from and hopefully becoming somewhat self-sustainable in our little suburban neighborhood. I spent a lot of time and energy during my pregnancy reading and studying chicken breeds. My husband spent the same amount of time and energy designing and building our small coup. Shortly after getting two small chicks from a local farm, my dog Elli ate them while we were on vacation at Disney World; just broke in and swallowed them whole. Our friend who was house/dog sitting called us on our drive home to tell us the news. Elli was not remorseful in the slightest, in fact, she had a proud and arrogant strut for a few days after.
We told our daughter that the chicks missed their mommy and went back to the farm. Within a week, the chicken coup transformed into a princess carriage. In the end, it worked out well, tending to chicks while taking care of a newborn would not have been ideal but the carriage offered my daughter some fun when I was too sleep-deprived to engage in much play.
Alongside my inner transformation, my children are changing and growing before my eyes. My daughter has been reading to me over the last couple of weeks. Watching her learn to read is hands down one of the most amazing things to witness. Unfortunately, she has also grown out of princesses almost entirely and chooses more “big kid” things to do with her time, so the chicken coup/princess carriage will likely take on new life in the coming months.
My son has transformed from a baby at the beginning of this year to big boy at the end. He is speaking full sentences, can run, jump, climb, sing, dance and is growing out of naps. As I went into his room for the fifth time the other day to convince him to lie down and sleep, I noticed his crib toy hanging on his bed since we first set up his room when I was 8 or 9 months pregnant. I remembered when the toy arrived in the mail. It was the first item I received for baby #2 and the moment I opened the box, I started crying. I was hormonal and overwhelmed at the idea of having two kids and wondered if I could love them equally. As I stood there looking at the crib toy that is rarely turned on anymore, my thoughts moved to the fact that my son is outgrowing his crib and will likely be in a bed in the coming months. Removing the crib is monumental because it is the end of babyhood and a complete shift into kid-hood. I have his big boy room planned out and while he is just about ready for that transformation, I am not quite there yet. But when I am, I have decided I want to keep the crib because my daughter and my son both spent their babyhood in it. I like to purge many things but some items hold too much sentimental value to let go. I may transform their baby bed in time to something like this that I found on Pinterest:
Life is ever-changing and while I am guilty of holding on to the past and it’s familiarity, I have transformed my thinking this year to accept that there is beauty in change. While ending a chapter may feel sad or difficult at the time and the changes may be painful, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and if we allow it, it may shine brighter than we could ever have imagined.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
— Winston Churchill
This post is part of The Weekly Writing Challenge: Multimedia Storytelling