Change

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I have some decisions that need to be made, and I’m not sure which way to turn. How do you deal with change? I’m referring to the type of change that can turn your life upside down and inside out, leaving you with something new and shiny, or regretfully ugly. The kind of change that presents you with a life-altering decision, and the fate of your happiness depends on your answer.

I’ve told you how my daughter deals with change. She just doesn’t. She throws catastrophic tantrums, that could quite possibly wipe out small towns, and are usually preceded by a string of tornadic meltdowns, until she “adjusts”. My Mom cries, and cries, and cries, until she’s one, big, wet, mess and then, she’s fine. My sister rolls with the punches, never missing a single beat, totally unphased, and morphing with the new. Then there’s me. Where do I fall you ask?

I fall somewhere between my daughter and mother. I cry. I protest. I stall. I scream. I run. I stomp my feet. I beg and plead, and then I give up. See I do not have a problem with all change. Change in itself is necessary for growth, for social reform, and well, it’s just a part of life. The part of change I have a problem with is all the uncertainty, the unknowns, and the loss that lines change. It makes me nervous and jittery. I want to know if this new plan will payoff? How much of the old will I be losing? Will it be worth it? Will I be happy? Should I just stay with the familiar? I’m getting nowhere so then i turn to my friend pragmatics.

Oh, how I love pragamtics! I begin to make lists of pros and cons, weighing my options. I begin to re-count every major decision I’ve made in the last several years and I relive the aftermath hoping to find answers for my future.

June 14, 2003. I find myself in a hotel room, in the bathroom alone, door locked. I am sitting on a toilet still in my wedding gown and head between my knees. Perfectly sprayed curls, fall in my face, and I hear my tears splatter as they hit the cold tile. Oh, Lord what have I done, rolls thru my mind. In the whisper of two words, “I do”, I had sacrificed my home address, my last name, and my freedom. I was sick to my stomach and I wanted to go home to the way things were before today. What if this doesn’t work? What if he doesn’t love me as much as I love him? What if he regrets marrying me? What if he wants to take it all back? What if? What if? What if? I am about to puke, of course, when I hear someone knock on the door. It’s him, my husband. “Tammy, are you okay in there,” he asks genuinely concerned. At the sound of his voice my heart skips a beat and butterflies take flight in my tummy. I know instantly why I did this. Why I chose to get married, because I love him. I honestly love him, I do! You can imagine what happened next…hmm! Nine years later he is still my husband, still the one, the only one. Good decision? Yes!

November 1, 2006. I am in the bathroom again, sitting on the toilet. I am still in my nightgown, and my head is between my knees again. My left hand grabs my forehead, the right hand holds a white plastic stick with a digital face. In the middle, the word reads, pregnant. I am sick to my stomach, because I am upset, and because I am truly sick. Sick as a dog! This wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I hadn’t expected to get pregnant so soon. I thought it would take months, maybe even years. Now I find myself with child and unsure. I loved my life, every square inch of it, just the way it was, married with no children. My husband and I could come and go as we pleased. We could do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. We were young and free with little responsibilities. Now our life was about to change drastically. Could I make all the sacrifices motherhood required? Would I be able to care for a baby? Would I know what to do? Would I love it? Would it love me? Would my husband and I survive a baby? So many what ifs that were answered by a single cry 41 weeks and 12 hours of labor later. The minute she stretched her lungs and wailed, I knew love had found me. My life was no longer the same, it was so much better than I could have ever imagined. I became a Mother, and the best decision I have ever made to date.

January 26, 2012. My husband, 2-year-old daughter, and me wait to be seated at one of our favorite restaurants. The hostess asks, “How many?”. My husband responds, “Three.”. She leads us to our table, I struggle to fit my very pregnant belly comfortably behind the table. Then it hits me, “Today is the very last day that we will be a family of three!”. The next time we are seated at a restaurant we will need seating for four. I burst into tears. My husband is worried, the waiter is freaked out, and my daughter is clueless. What have we did? My daughter will no longer have all our love, all our attention. What if she wants me to take the baby back? What if having a sibling ruins her life? How will I manage with two, when I struggle so much with one? How am I ever going to do this? But I did, and I’m still doing it. Lauryn loves her brother almost more than she loves me. She is Bert to his Ernie. Her Barbie to his Ken. Her Batman to his Robin. Two peas in a pod. Twins with different birthdays! Inseparable. Good decision? Yes!

So, here I am again with change on my coattails, and I’m flapping wildly in the wind. A part of me longs to get a better grip, hold on tight, and just enjoy the ride. The other part of me wants to let go, let change slip thru my fingertips, and let my feet land on familiar ground. I know if I play it safe, I’ll live with regrets. If I take a risk, and go with change, I stand to lose some things I love dearly. So, what’s a girl to do? This one is going to roll the dice and pray they land in my favor!

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