Their lives are full of firsts!
First day in middle school..
First time trying something completely new… ( Like opening a locker in the hallway, with kids rushing and screaming all around you! Or being bused to a building full of strangers and hoping you will find a place to fit in!)
With each of these new experiences, they will gain wisdom and insight, and hopefully learn about themselves a little. However, the only way to gain perspective, is to live. Each experience gives us hindsight. And only time and life experiences can help us gain perspective. It cannot be taught, it has to be lived.
I am learning that my perspective with Matthew and our lives with ALS, and who I am and what I am willing to fight for, and my children, and my life, have completely changed, and I think will continue to do so as time goes by. Two weeks ago,for just a small moment, my perspective was,
“Poor me, I am all alone in this.”
I bitched and moaned and wailed about my hardships… (loudly, I might add!)
But then, a little time went by and I gained some perspective.
I learned, (which I have always known, but it is still nice to be reminded from time to time) that no matter what, it could always be worse.
I learned that as new challenges come my way, it makes me stronger. I learned that although this life of mine has not always been easy, each challenge has given me insight and perspective to fight the next battles that have come my way.
Matthew and I have a lot to be thankful for. Sometimes, I forget that. Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in all the expectations and priorities and demands on me, that I forget to simply be in the moment. I need to somehow remember that when I have days like I did a couple of weeks ago, that those days will pass. I will get through it. It is temporary.
I need to be grateful for where we are today. Because whenever I think this particular stage we are at is difficult, I only need to remember what it used to be like, how I felt then and how easily I was overwhelmed at the small changes that were the beginning stages of ALS. Now I know that I will find my new normal and we will make it work somehow. I know in the not too distant future, I will be wishing for things in our life to be as easy as they are right now. Do you know how I know that? Because there was a time I was overwhelmed just having to help Matthew dress and tie his shoes every day. Now, looking back, that part looks so easy now. That is because my perspective has changed on what I find to be difficult and what I find to be easy.
I think my perspective of friendship has also changed. I do have friends. My journey has led me to meet people from all over the country. I have lost touch with some, but others have popped in and out of my life at times when I need them the most. Each friend is unique in the gifts that they can offer me. They have been there to hear me vent, often times on more than one occasion. They have helped, or stepped up when I least expected it, and I need to remember that true friendships are not like those memes on Facebook. They are exactly like the friendships I have today. They are women who are busy with their own lives, and maybe their perspective is to be a good friend by sending a text, or by carpooling my children at the last minute when they can. Maybe its something as simple as standing next to me and laughing while we watch our children at practice. The point is, they are there and my perspective changed recently when I was suddenly more aware of them than ever before.
I can’t help but wonder how my children’s perspectives have changed over the last few days. Did they walk into school, scared, only to walk out and feel empowered for having made it through the day?
My oldest daughter who is 16 years old, has a lot on her shoulders these days. Today, she started her junior year of high school. On this day, she also started a new program that is similar to dual enrollment. She will attend high school for three hours a day, then be bused out to the new technical college for classes. She will be learning about resort and restaurant management, along with various other expectations of what it means to be an adult. She is doing this, at the same time she just started working her very first real paying job. She was more than just nervous today, she was scared. I have been trying especially hard to remind her over these last weeks of summer, that fear is often that which is unknown. Once we walk towards it, it is often less frightening.
My middle daughter began her first day of 6th grade today. She too,was more than just nervous today. She was scared. She remarked about the way her stomach was flipping and flopping. She worried about her clothes and her hair (a newly developing habit that I have never seen before) and she was scared about how she would get to each class on time.
My son started a new grade, with new faces and new expectations. He jumped right in, not really slowing down to take it all in but rushing past with excitement and fearlessness. He has the benefit of not having an all new school still. He is with old friends and comfortable surroundings.
Their perspectives are changing as they experience new things. I can’t help but be a little jealous of their carefree lives. I am still the person they lean on when things don’t go their way. I am still the person they come to when life is not so kind, when plans don’t go accordingly and when they are hurt. And I know that this will not always be the case.
I remember when they were younger. The frantic rush to get them all out the door, the hustle and bustle of small children and work and chaos. My perspective back then was,” I can’t wait for them to be older!”
Now…my perspective is different. They are older. And they need me less and less…and I wish they wouldn’t keep growing older. I wish I had enjoyed them more when they were younger.
These last couple of weeks, the word perspective has floated in and out of my thoughts almost daily. It has also helped me to reflect and gain wisdom. Life needs to be lived, hindsight needs to be learned and perspective needs to be gained if we are ever going to grow and develop.
I can’t even imagine how wise I will be soon…with all this newfound perspective!