In the weeks leading up to our recent house relocation, I spent some time worrying about the effect of this upheaval on our kids. I wondered if it was wise to uproot them, remove them from a home that was comfortable and familiar, the only home that either could remember living in. Both expressed anxiety about moving, sadness about leaving their 'home', and that was tough on me. You never want to know that your words or your actions are the cause of any kind of pain for your babies.
Change isn't easy for me, either. Even though I thrive on it, and often need it. Even though complacency is, ultimately, much worse for me. The transition between old and new is difficult and there's just no getting around it. That in-between bit, where there's no going back and those irrational fears settle in. Sleep is hard-won and worry and doubt are constant shadows. That bit-too-hard bit.
During my second labour I was acutely aware of the moment I entered transition. I hadn't felt it the first time round (drugs :-P). It was that letting go of the handle bars and flying down a hill kind of feeling. Brief (in the scheme of things), terrifying and incredible. I haven't encountered that feeling very often so it made a profound mark. There is some innate tendency to clench and hide from feelings I don't like, and having that stripped away was game-changing. Testing and pushing and proving. I can do hard things. You know, if I have to.
More recently I faced a different kind of terrifying, and there was this one looooooong transitional moment while awaiting a medical procedure, unsure of quite what reality I'd be facing when I came out. Every fear I'd brushed aside over the previous months raced to the surface, and waited those two long hours with me. When it was over (and I was fine), I realised that moving house was nothing. My children might feel unsettled for a time, but they would adapt. We would help them adapt, and in doing so, add to their survival toolbox. Because any kind of anything can happen, at any old time.
If I am able to help teach my children to find their centre in a storm, then I think one day I'll be ready to let them go out into the world (but probably not, so they can stay at home forever-and-ever-okay-great). Small changes like this are a gift, they are practice and we need lots of it, to stop us from becoming root-bound.
Photos taken during my sister's labour.