We recently moved to a different house. It's gorgeous and larger than our previous house - one reason we moved was so that our kids could each have their own room. Lucy and Jude had been sharing a bedroom for four years. So, the first time we toured our soon-to-be new home, long before negotiations lead to the purchase, each kid picked out their own bedroom. They were excited. Cut to us on moving day and the kids came home from school. Lucy walked in and cried tears of happiness. She said she couldn't believe we were actually going to live here. Later that night, I went to check on her in her new own room. She was crying in her bed. When I asked what was wrong, she said she missed our old house and her old room. Even though it's the room she had to share with her little brother. Change is hard.
When Chris and I took foster parenting classes, we learned a lot about how people, and especially kids, process change. They don't like it either. They said kids who are in foster care will cry and yearn for their "old home" even if it's a mattress on the floor over a new room that is fully furnished with new toys.
I also think of Jude, who dislikes change on a daily basis. He has the same lunch everyday: a beef stick, a cheese stick, a fruit snack, a piece of chocolate and apple juice. As brilliant parents, we decided to buy some local beef and have it processed. We bought ten pounds of beef sticks. Jude took one bite, and said no thanks and that was that. His preference was Old Wisconsin beef sticks. So, we went back to what he likes. Some battles are worth it; but lunch is not one of them.
I saw another group of people dislike change recently. It was over soup. Campbell's changed their recipe for Chicken and Stars soup. They made the stars into actual pasta-shaped stars. I'll admit, I didn't like it either. There was something nostalgic about the original recipe with the small stars. I tried to find the original with no luck. A quick online search led me to a post on Campbell's Facebook page. There were hundreds of comments, all negative, about the change.
Good news. As you can see, they are bringing it back.
I frequently look back at old memories on Facebook with mixed emotion. I see little Lucy the age Anna is now and I miss the little person that she was. I see little Jude who endured so much before the age of two and I am sad. I see little Anna and remember how I hoped she'd become a Corkery and I was so scared. I see Chris and me and we look so youthful and I am proud of what we've come through.
And yet, I look at each of us now, and I wonder what amazing things each of us will do in the future, especially the kids. I realize now that it's okay to yearn for the past and allow a moment for reflection. Change is hard, but if we keep one foot in front of the other and move toward the future together - change is good.