the way things were (itty bitty thoughts)
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Back in the day, I was part of a local chapter of a much larger parenting group called MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). We would get together monthly for support, friendship, a meal, and a project. And let me tell you what, that group was instrumental in me not going nuts in those years before my sons were “school-aged”. The little kid years are hard, yo, and I needed some carrying.
A bunch of us who had joined the local chapter around the same time had kids the same age, and therefore found ourselves aging out of the group at the same time. See, once your youngest child was old enough to attend kindergarten, you graduated from MOPS.
And so some of us talked about making another group that was for moms of older kids so we could continue the awesome and magic of support that we’d had in the early years of MOPS.
But the thing is, despite how much we wanted it, it just wasn’t a thing that was going to happen anymore.
As it turns out, there is a big difference between a 6 year old and a 16 year old. There are big differences between the decisions you have to make as the parent of a kindergartener and a high school freshman. And my word, trying to get moms together after their kids reach school age? It seemed most moms were running their kids every which way, and they didn’t have time to get together once a month for support and a meal and a craft because they were pretty much meeting themselves coming and going at the door of their homes.
And for awhile I was really bummed about that. I missed what we had in MOPS, and I was mad that we couldn’t recreate that somehow in a way that worked for moms of older kids.
I’ve since learned, however—through many comings and goings in my own life and the lives of others—that things fit until they don’t. And things work until they break down. And that which supported us 12 years ago isn’t necessarily meant to support us 12 years from now.
The problem is that sometimes we want things to always be the way they were, and that’s a mistake, because things can’t always be the way they were. In fact, things were the way they were because they fulfilled a purpose at that time.
Things serve a purpose until they don’t anymore. Or can’t anymore.
And there is nothing wrong with that.
And it probably seems odd that I’m saying “we can’t have everything the way it once was” on a blog that fantasizes a bit about going back to live 100 years in the past. But even I know we can’t have everything that was. We can have pieces of what was. But not the whole thing.
And honestly, you probably wouldn’t want the whole thing, right?
I mean, I’m bummed that we were never able to create something like MOPS for moms of older kids. But I am also really glad my kids aren’t two and three year olds anymore.
Things fit until they don’t. Things work until they break down. Life is a constant swirling of change.
So what does that mean?
I think it means to enjoy what’s working for you right now. Celebrate it. Jump all into it and roll around in it.
I also think it means that when things change and no longer work or fit, honor the spot it held in your life, and then let it go.
Happy October 1st. What’s working and not working in your life?
— Amy Dingmann, 10-1-20