Hard to believe that just a few weeks ago we were enjoying a lovely early autumn evening down by the creek at my parents' house, and now--after a few days of heavy rains--it's all under water.
The flooding is actually normal, so while it's amazing to see the difference it isn't anything to be alarmed about. When I was growing up, we never paid that much attention to the seasonal flooding of the creek. The weather was never nice enough to go down there to play in the winter, so we didn't miss it. It was always curious, however, to go back to the creek late the next spring and see how the landscape had changed. A tree gone here and replaced by a rock. A new little creek here that had changed its course of travel over the months. A whole slew of mulligan golfballs that would be trapped in a mud hole thanks to the golf course upstream.
We never really lamented the change, just accepted it and made the new landscape our own. The only time I remember being particularly sad was the year that the rope-swing tree washed away. The swimming hole had filled up with debris, and so we spent that summer wading in and out of the shallows.
I would write something profound here, about how we can learn from kids who accept change as a part of life, but it isn't exactly a true observation. Just yesterday Sydney had a meltdown when I unwrapped her granola bar and it broke in two pieces. The world ended. "Fix it! Put it together! Fix it!" she wailed as she collapsed on the floor. I left her weeping on the floor, and after several minutes she found me. With two little pieces of granola clutched in her hands, and tears streaming down her red face, she tried again, "Mommy, please fix it." I couldn't fix it. Just like I couldn't get the too-small shoes to fit her feet the week before, or take the orange bowl out of the running dishwasher so she could have applesauce in it.
I suppose it's about perspective on what things you feel like you should have control over, and what things you don't. Last summer when the college student we had had living with us during the school year moved back home, Sydney was mostly unfazed even though she'd seen Rebekah nearly every day for nine months and loved her dearly. She'd pass by Rebekah's room and say casually, "Rebekah's gone," and then go back to playing. Or several weeks ago when we temporarily got rid of all our furniture and she found the living room empty one morning. "The couch is gone," she commented before pulling her blocks out to play.
Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to what affects us and what doesn't. This last weekend my brother's family moved to the Family Farm. I have been so happy thinking about how wonderful it is to have my family even more consolidated (it makes visiting with everyone that much easier), and can't wait to see what Sarah is going to do with the old farmhouse. And yet, this morning when I was on the phone with my mom, when I said, "I hope that Sydney still feels like the farm is hers even though Clover is living there now," I got all choked up and weepy. I guess even though most of me embraces the new changes, part of me is still a bit selfish in wanting it to stay the same.
I know I'm being extra reflective about change since in six weeks we'll be adding a new person to our family. It'll be good change. But it'll be different. One day we'll be roasting marshmallows by the fire, the next it'll all be underwater. Then eventually the waters will recede and we'll discover a whole new landscape of life filled with different wonders and places to explore. The trick will be to embrace all the newness, and not get drowned in the loss of how things used to be.
Perhaps easier said than done.