so I’ll just talk.
When Ben was an infant, I started taking him to this place called the Early Childhood Center, or ECC for short. It’s located within the public school’s building, right here in my city, and it’s an incredible outlet for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Ben played with toys, did art projects (I usually had to goad him into it, he doesn’t like art) and read books often.
Now, I take Nolan to the ECC.
I was talking with one of the teachers there, who I have seen and had small conversations with from time to time over the past 6 years, but nothing too in depth. She was usually wrangling kids for story time or music time; I was busy tending to my boys, or talking with other mom friends.
She said something to me that really made me stop and think. Her youngest is headed out for boot camp; he had signed up with the military, and she was telling me how hard it was to see him go. She told me how fast time goes by, how she remembers when her son was Nolan’s age, and now he’s practically a man.
She said: “These things you care about now? They don’t matter. You think it does, but it doesn’t, not in the grand scheme of things. You’ll see this as you get older, that the stuff that bugged you now, was never worth it. I can’t believe I cared about some of the things I cared about. Who cares?”
I was deep in thought after she said that to me. There are so many things I cling to, so much I try to control or manage. Big deal issues, and I wondered how I would feel about those issues when I am even ten years older? What sort of person will I become? Will those big deal issues not be so big?
I can see some of what I am letting go of, even as I type this. I used to have such a huge problem with people who don’t like me. Part of my defense mechanism growing up was to make sure that no one was an enemy. I was shifted around so much as a kid, I needed to know I was accepted and welcomed. The older I get, the less I care about who accepts me, because I know those who love me will accept me, anyway, and as is.
I wonder what else will slowly lose it’s hold onto me. I am much more laid back with Nolan than I ever was with Ben. I am not as frigid and unyielding. Nolan can have a late night from time to time, he doesn’t have a set in stone nap schedule, and he’s just as happy and healthy as Ben ever was.
What she said to me, that’s not the first time I’ve heard those words. But the way she put it was very simple and poignant. And really made me think.
I hope I can be like her, and let things go.