Change can weigh heavily on your mind. Lots of change can be overwhelming. “The Change”, well, it’s a little shit!
Forty-three days ago. Green grass. Morning dew. Children unsure of this strangeness under foot. It tickles, it is soft and green, vibrant, it is different. The sun beating on us, exploring, wide open, our days slipping away, eager to see what we will do next. We are free here, our obligations few, reporting only to ourselves.
Suitcases heavy with treasure, we board our plane, sad to leave behind the summer swims, shopping malls, fun fairs, but eager to return home, our own beds waiting for weary bodies to cradle. Already the air has cooled. There is rain, daily, and we are inside, concrete floors underfoot and work to be done. I spend afternoons on my computer, new work filling my time just days away from a new school year.
Change falls quickly. It is the first day of school, my oldest so excited to be there all day and my youngest looking ahead independently walking into his classroom holding his buddy’s hand. I do not feel free. I feel empty. Not sad, but like I have forgotten something important, though this struggle is pushed to the side, filling the hours gifted to me with work.
Car pool, errands, packing lunches, emails, ticking off item after item with each minute that passes each day full of to-dos longer than there are hours. Stealing time to play, to chat, to relax. I am blessed with people who share this load with me, formulating plans designed for survival.
“We got the news today.” She whispers to me, telling me before she’s told her own children. “We’ll leave town as soon as we sell our house.” I knew it was coming, though I hoped this would wait until I was ready for it, which would have been never, swallowing, locking the box that would have me crumble.
We trade children so she can clean her house for the realtor and I can meet my deadlines. Tucking away any concern I have of life after she’s gone, beginning to notice that I have not bled since the sun was out and I could feel the heat on my skin, the wind telling me stories of my childhood while I watched my own children play.
I pull on my socks, boots and coat and round out my fall gear with sunglasses, reminding myself that I don’t have time to think only to move forward. I am not pregnant, I will get past this rollercoaster ride I’ve been on, I will say no more often, I will say yes more, I will take deep breaths and do yoga. I will eat better, I will sleep more, I will ask for help when I need it. I will. God, but what if I am pregnant?
We take a test, it’s not the first time I’ve been late, it won’t be the last, my body is changing and seems to enjoy its latest shtick. Buy a test, take a taste, then bleed. This time there is silence. After more carpooling, packed snacks, lunches, open houses, playground dates, dinners out, meetings, errands, grocery shopping, bedtime, bath time, story time, the doctor squeezes me in. My husband juggles his day to come home early so dance class won’t be missed and I can get some answers. With the youngest in tow and a library of children’s audio books in hand we wait. And still wait.
I dread winter. The cold seeping into our home is heavy. I think of the sun once more and foolishly hope that we are done with change and begin counting again.
Photo credits: Change Ahead sign: ellenhorn.com; Feet in grass: care4.com; pregnancy test: Pinterest