I have a hard time with changes in my life. Sometimes, I even fear them. I often want to shield my kids from uncertainty that comes from changes. As an adult, I can foresee the implications of changes and I fret over them often. Like a friend moving away. I grieve over the fact some of our kids’ friends are moving away. What will happen to them? Will my child be all alone? I have to try really hard to keep my mouth shut at times, so the kids will be able to face the uncertainty of life and learn to take it with confidence and bravery.
The biggest change in my life was my family moving to Canada when I was 14. My dad was assigned the position of the visiting professor at University of Calgary for a year. So, we packed our bags and got on the plane. To be honest, I did not want to come…at all. I fought with my parents to let me stay. Strange land, strange language, no friends, strange food… Facing the possibility of repeating a grade once I get back home a year later.
On October 15th, 1986, we landed in Calgary. We stayed in a motel for 5 days until we could find a place to live. I remember locking myself in the bathroom sobbing as I held photographs and notes from friends back home. Nothing tasted right. Jet Lag. Once I started school, my life was like a series of embarrassing events because I didn’t know English. I got my lunch money stolen once because I didn’t know where to go get a lock for my locker. I missed my bus for my PE swimming lessons because I didn’t know we were going swimming. A timid girl with a dictionary in her hand. Sitting alone in cafeteria. misunderstood.
Now 20+ years later, I see, that dreadful year as the best year of my life. The year everything changed for me. As a result of events which I call nothing other than “divine Arrangement”, I met my Savior and embraced faith. I went back home and successfully finished high school without repeating a grade. I fell in love with Canada, which resulted in coming to college here. Met a white boy who wanted to marry me. I can’t imagine my life any other way. I love it.
I wonder sometimes what would have happened, where I would be if other choices were made–by me, my parents and others around me. As far as I know, my dad had another university where he could have taught that year, in the U.S. somewhere.
Changes. It’s all in the way we present it. Like when you are trying to get your kids to eat something new. If I approach with enthusiasm and excitement, I can get most kids to eat most things. I’ve seen it many times where parents would caution the kids that it’s something new, and they may not like it, but it’s good for them. Kids would usually push it away without even trying. Changes are good. They shape us, stretch us, and help us discover ourselves.
I will tell my kids that they will meet someone new. Something to look forward to. Treasure the old friendships. Write letters. Now, it’s time to pack our bags to go visit those treasured “old” friends.
”We’ve been best friends since we were babies. I will miss Bella.”