Summer seems to be a time of tremendous, gradual, yet momentous change for many people. The languid liquidity brought on by the heat hides many of the more obvious changes until it’s September—parents look at their kids and say “wow, you grew three inches!” or “we better get you some glasses”. I’m used to summertime heralding metamorphosis. Summer is, after all, when kids learn to swim and teens learn to drive. People get married, traditionally, as summer begins its most vibrant show, and young men and women often join the Army.
This summer presents itself a little differently, though. One, I have a child heading to college in the fall. Two, my baby girl is embarking on her own journey into the land of lockers and PE. Three, we are facing the challenges and rewards of leaving the only work life my husband has truly known—the US Army. The fact that I am 39 and facing changes of my own seems almost irrelevant in the context of our family changes.
So why not write about it? Why, instead of trying to fool myself into thinking it’s not absolutely huge—why not dive in? Why not celebrate the change and even grieve a little bit for what is past? Instead of gritting my teeth and hiding the tears (joy, pride, wistful reminiscence)—why not smile through them?
So here I am. Diving in. Those who know me well, know that I am not one to dive, nor am I one to rush headlong into anything. But there’s a tidal wave of change, so I better put on my swimsuit and hold on tight. Water wings aren’t going to get me through. J