"Why does everything have to change?"
Noah quietly exhaled that question from the backseat, as we drove to the hospital to meet his cousin for the first time. He was starring out the window — at the trees wrapped in winter's grip and at the bird-less, icy grey sky — and I'm still not sure if he meant for that question to live inside his head.
Because isn't it always in our heads?
But he said it out loud, and I understood.
He's been going through a lot of change in the past few months, one change running into the next without commas or periods. A big move — a move away from the only home he's ever known, which still triggers tears from time to time — a new preschool classroom, a newly pregnant aunt, and now a brand new cousin. These aren't the subtle changes that kids typically go through — bigger clothes, different interests, expanded vocabulary — but instead, they're changes that shift environments, family dynamics, and relationships. They shift his sense of familiarity and comfort.
We tried to explain how change can be good — how it can keep life interesting and exciting. How change — especially a new baby — can bring new experiences and important new roles. Fun!
But change is hard for even adults to accept. I know it was for me.
And maybe the only way to learn that lesson is to get our heels out of the sand, fight through the uncomfortableness, and watch how change can bring the unexpectedly beautiful. To experience the unexpected thankfulness for that change, and every other change that led up to it.
I've learned that the best way to cause the change you want, whether it's in others or in situations, is to first change yourself — how you think and act. But maybe it's the change that we can't control — the change that's forced upon us as we reluctantly and trepidatiously move forward — that causes the biggest change in ourselves, which then changes everything.
Suddenly we're changed.
And I think he's starting to see it.
That it can be so, so beautiful.