As I grew and faced other challenges, along with making new friends in new schools as our family moved, each change felt like I needed to have “training wheels” on to keep me balanced. I fought fear and trepidation with each new person I spoke with, material I had to learn and expectations I had to meet.
As I grew into a teenager, more challenges forced me to “grow.” We all make choices, even if it doesn’t seem so. Not making a “choice” is still making one. I remember not making a choice about drugs when I was in high school. Yet, because I chose to not be around or “party” with those who used drugs, I still made a choice. These choices were forming and molding me into the person I would become.
I did choose to marry and not enter college right out of high school. This became another time of “training.” We learn to live with another, make compromises and take consideration of the other’s way of doing things, opinions and feelings, to make things “work.”
Following on the heels of marriage, I became pregnant and found another time necessitating “training wheels.” I read once our first born child is our “experimental” one! It’s true. There are plenty of parent handbooks out there, but the best training is “On The Job Training” because no book can adequately prepare you for parenthood!
There are mistakes, learning curves and general problems that come with having little people! This precept doesn’t change from child to child, but after the first, a mom isn’t as likely to worry so much about perfectly timed, boiled bottles; serving baby food in the exact order suggested; spilled milk on the bib or outfit, or a hundred other things that just aren’t as relevant, as we add to our family! We tend to adapt a little easier and breathe, while allowing our little one to get dirty, enjoy creating mud pies or cluttering the floor with every single toy they own!
Training wheels don’t stop here, however, either. As our little people become teenagers, we again struggle with balancing what they should do and how they should do it--while trying to let them grow! Along with this there is still the need to harmonize with other areas in our life. This isn’t always easy. Finances can throw us a curve, health issues, our faith walk, career moves, relationships and so much more in our lives require evaluation and often times stabilizing. This is not unlike the training wheels that were first applied to our new bicycle back when we were small children.
My point to all this is every season of our lives requires some amount of balance. It seems like life experiences change almost daily. I encourage you, during this holiday season to reflect on what is important in your life right now. We’re getting ready to begin another year. Take stock and be ready to realign where needed.