Today is my daughter's last day at her second day care. When we pick her up at lunchtime to head to Texas for the rest of the week, she'll be saying good-bye to a cadre of teachers who cared for her - who watched her grow from someone who didn't like having her hands touched or getting wet into someone who finger paints more than anyone else and is the first to soak themselves from head-to-toe on Wednesday water days. We will leave behind this facility for a new one in just a few weeks. One that's a bit nicer, a bit better, a bit closer to home, and what we hope will be her last school until she goes to actual school (kindergarten). We'll be leaving behind her first friend, her first boyfriend (seriously - at 18-months-old, my daughter apparently likes to kiss a certain boy in her class), and the place where she learned to hold a bottle, use a spoon, and play hide-and-go-seek.
I imagine very little of this will register with my daughter. While she can say the word "school", she seems to be the type who will very quickly call her new place by this word and understand it as the new building we now go to when we leave the house each weekday morning around 8 AM. If life is about anything before you turn two, it's about transitions. And, if life is about anything after you turn two, it's about transitions.
No matter how much we want, expect, or demand things to stay the same, they never do. We idolize consistency, but will never admit to ourselves that it and its cousin - constancy - are two elusive vixens we'll dream about, but never catch. We don't need to get good at maintaining things as they are. We need to get great at adapting to change.
We're headed to Texas this week for a wedding. We'll be toasting and watching as two people move on to a life together. We'll also be spending time with family, catching up and celebrating the expectancy of a new baby boy showing up this winter, my daughter's newest cousin (and the first boy in the bunch). This ebb and flow of life is what makes navigating its waves so exciting. People like to spend a day at the lake; they want to spend a lifetime out on the ocean.
We need to give ourselves permission to say goodbye. Permission to move on when our soul demands we must find greener grass, newer options, or when we've outgrown where we are. It's the movement our being craves. Give into that desire by letting yourself leave, run, or disappear. You cannot become who your heart is calling you to be if you stay exactly where you are.
To this end, I leave you with two final thoughts:
- This wonderful post by Nicole shows that you can do all of this moving on with someone.
- This eloquent video (shared by Brittney) shows that you can move on with grace when a chapter of life if over (full story about the breakup and transition here).