Reflections on Change

It doesn’t matter what station I hold in life, certain things, seem to ring true.  Regardless whether I’m sleeping on a $1600.00 mattress or the back seat of a ’74 Chevy Nova I still lie awake at night thinking of the future.  All people do that though, don’t they?

So I think about my future and I wonder.  Not being one for surprises, the fact that I can’t foretell the future leaves me with much consternation.

Alex at Springfield College!

It was 20 years ago that I was in a similar position but different station in life, with a child on the way.  Reminiscing about how I felt then is an interesting mix of terror and responsibility.  My son Alex is now in his freshman year at Springfield College, which at 21 I couldn’t have imagined.  He wasn’t planned and caught everyone by surprise…suddenly giving direction to the rudderless young man I was.  Unfortunately he had to bear the brunt of my inexperience and insecurity.  Alex got a hit or miss Dad, which I guess is the same dilemma befallen of all first born children.  Hopefully he’ll feel invested enough in his new brother or sister not hold that against me.

The newest Foster!

Now, at 41 Jean and I are pregnant.  The fears and concerns are still there but tempered by experience, less stamina and more years.  On second thought, knowing what’s coming and having less stamina should be a warning no?  I could panic, sure but who would that serve?  Sure, I’d get 3 squares, psychoactive drugs and plenty of board games but visiting days would be embarrassing without shoe laces and a belt.

So…panic is off the table and really always was.  I’m not really the panicking type and I’m trying not to be a worry-er.

One of the major differences, besides being a generation older than I was the last time is my wife.  She’s awesome.  She puts up with all my annoying habits and I put up with hers (that’s another post).  We’ve done pretty well looking after ourselves, how much more work could a kid be?  When I was 21 I was so concerned with how I was going to have to change for the kid…but I’ve gotten to know and trust myself a bit more.  I’m anxious to see what this kid brings to OUR life.

If I could go back in time and talk to that 21 year old I would tell him, “Don’t be so hard on yourself.  Things are going to be ok.”

While I can’t predict the future I can listen to that voice.

-Eric

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3 thoughts on “Reflections on Change

  1. As always, I enjoyed your blog, thanks. It’s a nice interruption in a somewhat boring day.
    It’s funny how our adult lives started off by bumping into very similiar walls, although I wasn’t sleeping in the back seat of a 74 Nova………. it was a 76 LeMans. I too had my first at 20 and hadn’t a clue as how I was going to handle it. I found that you can only do the best you can, although it is usually a lot easier to say than it is to follow through with.

    I was working full time as the Parts room Manager at Sears Automotive in the Burlington Mall, the day I turned 21, it was a Monday……… Who the hell has that kind of luck? Anyway, on that Monday when most “post” adolescents would go out and celebrate the last age related milestone in their lives until retirement, I started a second job at night, working for a janitorial company who cleaned the orange line stations of the MBTA. That was an experience that I wouldn’t bestow on any living thing in the universe.
    I think my point is, most of us started out with major uncertanty, but for the most part we found our way, and some of us were lucky enough to have a little push in the form of a child or children. Who knows where I’d be today if it weren’t for my daughter and later my son. Probobly in a padded cell as you discribed it with 4 squares and a fistfull of meds, or worse.
    As I leave you, I have to add one more thing. those of us that were lucky enough to have children at a young age will also be lucky enough to have an empty nest at an fairly early age…… I have only 4 years left to go till my youngest graduates………… I’ll be 45.

    I look forward to pictures and blogs about your new addition. Give Jean our love .

    John

  2. Thanks for the note John. I liked your line, “for the most part we found our way.” When I was a very young man I had a vision of what my “way” was supposed to be. When it didn’t unfold as I thought it should there were problems. It really took me a long time to realize that my “way” was the present and I controlled it. That lesson learned will surely help to enjoy every minute shared with the little one!

  3. I remember my lack of forsight and how it used to bother me. It took for what it seemed way to long to realise that the ability for one to shape their future starts now. This was a hard pill to swollow considering all the bad choices I had already made, and realizing that it would be a while before I started to see any fruits of my labor.
    At 39 years of age (2 years ago) I had what I hope to be the last skeleton fall out of my closet. It took a trip back to Massachusetts, Over 10 grand and the necessity to stand before 3 Judges in different courthouses, to clean up those walls I ran into almost 20 years ago.
    A wise man (my father) told me years ago that the measure of ones maturity is in direct reflection of how long into the future one thinks about the reprocussions of their actions today. It’s funny, I never remember my parents being wise, until that is, I had children of my own. It’s amazing how smart my parents have gotten and how dumb I have become (at least in my teenager’s and 20 year old’s eyes).
    I think having a child at your age will be a wonderful experience, especially 20 years wiser knowing whats really important. I almost envy you…….. I said almost. I guess I’ll just wait for grand kids. Now that my daughter is older than I was when I had her, thats almost possible…… except for her “alternate lifestyle”, but thats a subject for a different blog.

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