My youngest, who's 9, asks to go outside with her friends. I let her go and reiterate the rules and she's gone in less than a minute. Funny, I think, she's going off to play with her friends and her two older siblings are still inside. It wasn't that long ago where she wasn't able to make a move without a sibling in tow.
At 9 years old she's just a Little Bit - one of the nicknames I use - at barely 60 pounds. So this is a big step in the direction of her independence. Not only has she matured enough to want to go out without her brother or sister, but I'm beginning to feel more comfortable with this development. Even though I haven't moved from the comfort of my bed (thanks to a bug or infection or something that's plaguing me), I've still had her siblings - a brother, age 12, and her 11-year-old sister - check up on her periodically.
Funny again because they're so protective of her that I only have to tell them once to check on her. Her sister lounges in her room, listening to music and peeking out the window at her. She gets up to go outside and find her when I let her go to the park with her friends for 20 minutes. "Has it been 20 minutes," Amareah, the 11-year-old, asks.
"Fifteen minutes," I say.
After about five minutes she gets up to get her sister then comes back with a report.
This goes on for more than an hour. One sibling will get up to go outside to check or look out the window. One will go outside to see what she's doing. I chuckle to myself when the house gets extra quiet and my son, Andre, realizes both sisters are outside.
He says something about some boys and "I'm going outside to check."
They're growing up and becoming the type of people I love to be around. I still fuss at them about doing their chores, cleaning up after themselves and following directions or managing their time well. And, of course, I've tired of telling the youngest, 9-year-old Anna, to brush her teeth well or wash her hands.
Despite it all, I feel content. At least right now I am. I feel successful and calm about all the changes that are happening right before my eyes.
As the landscape of my life begins to move and mold into something new and different, I am enjoying the moments.
That is, my friends, how you navigate the changing landscape of life.
What? Did you miss it?
Navigate Your Life's Landscape
Here it is again:
- Stay on top of the situation. You nurture and direct, feed and water, hold and love.
- Watch the progress. You let go and watch.
- Sit down and relax. You enjoy the view.
I'm sure there will be some bumps to smooth out - obviously, right? That's always the case when you have preteens. But I've been down this path before. I also have a 25-year-old daughter who I'm proud to say is actively managing her life's landscape.
I survived my 25-year-old daughter's changes so I can survive these. I may not always feel calm and confident, but the truth is as the landscape changes I simply mold and grow with it. Whether it's your business that's changing or your family, children, job, project... whatever changes are occurring you can handle it. The navigating may be treacherous, but it's doable.