Change and Children

Change is inevitable.  That’s the saying, right?

But we’ve faced a lot of changes in a couple years.

A change in family structure – my wife passed away about 2 1/2 years ago; A change in homes; a change in jobs; change in schools for the oldest child; a change in parenting.


Some of that – a lot of it, in fact – was for the best.  The new home, a rental, is less than I spent on a mortgage.  It is more in my budget range.  The new job isn’t in management, affording me the time to get home and care for the kids.  The new parenting paradigm, though not at all the direction we were headed, turned out to be pretty good.

There were other changes, though necessary, that didn’t really help much.

Changing my oldest, Abbi’s, school wasn’t an easy change.  It was necessary.  She had been going to a private, Catholic high school.  I couldn’t afford that, not with tuition the rate of most private colleges of out-of-state tuition at another university.  The move in her junior year, right in the middle of high school, was hard on her.  She made her way, she’s a strong, determined, bright kid.  She shouldn’t have had to, I know that, but there really was no choice.  There were nights I couldn’t do anything about the problems of the new kid or the lack of a date or not being asked to prom or what have you.  These are things that she always struggled with: “I’m always the good friend and never the girl they want to ask out.”  Those were her words before her Mom died.  Now, it’s just “guys don’t like smart, quirky girls, Dad!”

Well, I do, but that’s not an indication of the average male, I suppose.  I was, after all, married to the same woman for 18 years.

Tomorrow marks another major change.  This one isn’t for Abbi, the oldest, it’s for her brothers.

Noah and Sam, my twin 10-year-olds, are changing schools.  Again, necessity dictates the change.  The boys are moving to the public elementary school, spending their last year before middle school in a different school.  It’s not an easy thing.

Noah, in particular, is really worried.  He says he’s not.  He’s tried to be the staunch, brave, hard-working kid with no thought about what’s next and that he’s doing fine.  He says he’s excited.  But I know better.  Oh, sure, there’s excitement, but there’s so much concern.  He’s a worry-wart, yes, and that’s always been the case.  But he’s faced a lot of changes and has had a hard time facing that change.  He lost his mother and he’s still not dealt, completely, with that loss.  He’s sad, he wants her back, he might even, if I’m not over-thinking things, feel guilty.  He has no reason to feel guilty, but I’ve heard little things, here and there, about how sad he is about his temper tantrums and about how he acted when his Mom was around.  I don’t put up with the tantrums, never did, and from the morning he lost his mother he hasn’t thrown one.  Not one.

But that has nothing to do with her passing away.  His throwing tantrums at 3, 4, 5, 6, even 7-years-old isn’t his fault.  It was ours – mine and his Mom’s.  She didn’t like the screaming and the shrieking and the noise.  She caved in all…the…time!

Noah came in this evening to my bedroom to sleep.  He is so worried he couldn’t fall asleep.  I sit here and hear him start to snore a little bit and finally doze off around Midnight and I’m pleased…pleased that he can find some calm in my presence.  I am happy that he’s comfortable and can finally get some sleep.

If only I could be there to help him face all his stresses.

But then . . . change is never that easy.

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