My kids moved into their new classrooms yesterday. For my son, this meant moving from being an “Infant” to a “Young Toddler”. This milestone means nothing more than moving into a classroom right across the hall with bigger, cooler toys, a better playground, and two brand new teachers. He’s been visiting his new classroom for the past few weeks and has seemed to like it just fine. That is, until yesterday. In the morning, when I set him down in his new room for good, he clutched onto me tighter than he ever has before and started crying. The kind of crying that goes beyond your eyes to radiate out from your whole body – wrenching, soul-breaking cries.
Change is hard. Sometimes, it downright sucks. We get so happy and comfortable in the habits and rhythms we establish in our lives that even the slightest disruption can make us grumpy (or worse) for days. It’s “change avoidance” – rather than face the misery of the discomfort within what’s new/unknown/different, we stay with what we know. Even if we don’t even like it very much.
My inclination yesterday was to say “okay, forget it,” grab my son, and run him back to the infant room and the teachers that he’s grown to love. “He can stay an infant for a little longer, right? It’s okay that he’s walking and eating real food and stuff – the other babies won’t mind!” But, despite temptation, I didn’t. And you know what happened? When I peeked in the window a few minutes later, he was sitting happily at a “toddler table” in a big boy chair eating a big boy snack. And in his near future… the big slide.
If we can muscle through that first moment, when change seems to be about the worst idea ever (and that first moment can last minutes or days or weeks…), then there is no end to the possibilities that await us on the other side. Whether it be a better playground, a better job, or a different city, sometimes we just have to remember that change is hard, but that’s not the end of the story; it’s just the beginning.
Is there a change waiting for you?
“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.” Goethe