20 July 2013

Summer Transitions

 The past couple of months have been filled with transitions, changing from one state of being to another. Change has never been easy for me, so I guess it's not all that surprising that it's not always easy for my daughter, either. But I believe that transitions (especially those which are painful or difficult) almost always bring growth. It's possible to emerge stronger from a period of challenging transition.

 Our daughter has experienced two challenging transitions this summer. The biggest transition was, of course, coming to terms with the death of my dad, almost five years after my mom's passing. We were very close to both of them. In the midst of working through her grief, Bailey also faced an important transition in her own life: Her first time being away from home for the summer.

Before leaving in early June, Bailey faced the very difficult task of going through her grandparents' house to choose keepsakes. She bravely spent a couple of days looking through cupboards and placing sticky dots on dishes, curtains, and all sorts of things I never would have guessed she loved. Now as I go through the house boxing things up, I frequently happen upon orange sticky dots. They make me smile and cry at the same time.

As Bailey prepared for her summer transition, she also had to come to terms with leaving her kitties for the longest stretch of time ever. If you're a cat person, you understand what I mean.

 It was especially hard for her to let go of Lily for the summer.
 Even Tinsel, our somewhat aloof kitty, realized that Bailey needed some cuddle time with her.

Bailey also had to prepare herself for a summer without seeing her good friends from home. Sure, she knew she'd be making new friends at camp, but leaving familiar friends for new ones can be tough.

 In the face of uncertainty, Bailey follows in her mom's footsteps: She plans and organizes. She created cabin decorations, including these flower die cut name tags for each camper's bunk. Planning and organizing helps us both feel less anxiety while working through stressful transitions.

 By contrast, her bears seem to handle transitions pretty well. They've been lots of places and weathered many storms, yet they keep on smiling. Well, the ones with mouths do, anyway. ;) Perhaps it's because these are no ordinary bears. Two were special gifts from Grandma. And after Grandma taught Bailey to sew, she made the bear on the right using one of Grandma's patterns.
With any transition, the hardest part is letting go. Once she started to pack the SUV, reality set in for all of us.

Of course, it will take us a very long time to come to terms with the loss we've experienced. This type of transition can take years.

But Bailey has adapted well to her first summer away from home. Like other transitions, this one has brought incredible growth. She's had a host of new experiences she wouldn't have had if she'd stayed in Iowa. I'm very thankful for that. 

And now that she's looking at this life transition in the rear view mirror, I'm pretty sure that she's thankful, too.
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1 comment:

Linda Dotterer said...

Change can be so hard. I hope that Bailey is having a great time at camp and making a ton of memories.