As March is upon us, and people all over the Northeast seem to be whispering about our mild winter, I took one of my routine trips down to Florida to visit my parents. No, my folks aren’t transplants, they have been down there since the 1950’s and I was even born on Miami Beach. However, this trip strayed from the routine visit as my parents currently have my childhood home on the market.
It is with much trepidation that they are even thinking of moving, but the super-swinging house that they fell in love with in the late 1970’s with its sunken conversation pits, multi-levels, and coral walls has become somewhat of an octogenarian deathtrap. After hours of sitting around reminiscing and playing a perverse type of fantasy sports draft with my siblings about who gets what of all my parents possessions, it was obvious to me that my parents, with all there wisdom and life experiences were scared of their next move. They were afraid of transitioning.
Conversing with them reminded me of a discussion that I just had with my youngest son who is also a little scared about moving on to middle school from his warm and fuzzy elementary school. I reassured him that he would be going to a new school next year no matter what, unless of course he wanted to stay back and be the biggest kid in fifth grade. It occurred to me that in life we never stop transitioning and life’s only true constant is change. This is a concept that is much easier to say than to embrace.
To add some perspective, we just had dinner with some friends who have a two-year old child. Its been a while since my wife and I have gotten to share a meal with a toddler, so we happily volunteered to sit next to him, cut his food, and answer all his “Wwwwhhhyyyyy’s?” while giving his parent s a much needed break. Aside from being frazzled after a couple of hours, it made it clear that as that phase of our life has past we have happily transitioned to the next step. It was fun having little ones, but where we are now is seemingly a better place, even when my teenage son is flexing his will and insists that he is smarter than I am, although he is.
Being happy where you are is a nice place to be, but it is only human nature to look forward and think of the transitions that lay ahead. Children entering high school close on the horizon, then having kids in college, then trying to figure out how to pay to have kids in college. Looking even further down the road to weddings, grandchildren and other joyous events.
It’s funny how when you imagine the future you like to focus on the good things, I think that’s what keeps us going. It’s nice to know that even though life does have pitfalls, even when it is darkest, it is nice to envision that the future is a rosier place.
A place hopefully shared with my wife, surrounded by my children and grandchildren all discussing who gets all our stuff.