Monday, February 25, 2008

Growth Means Change

Recently my four year old grandson, Jordan, has developed a resistance to any transition during his day. When his mother tries to get him ready to come to my house in the mornings so that she can go to work, he is likely to have a tantrum saying that he wants to stay home. When it is time for me to take him to school in the afternoon, he will hide and cry and say he hates school and doesn’t want to go. When it’s time to pick him up from school he will run away from me – sometimes into the parking lot where cars are coming and going – saying he doesn’t want to leave school. And when his mother comes after work to take him home from my house he will refuse to leave my side. I realize that he has to face a lot of different places each day, but in each place he is loved and cared for and always ends up having a good time.

“Growth means change, and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown” (George Shinn) Perhaps for Jordan, each time he leaves whatever safe haven he is in means stepping from the known to the unknown. He must take the leap of faith that Nana’s house will be safe and fun and that school will be safe and fun and that home will be safe and fun, over and over in his young life.

Is it possible to feel safe and scared at the same time? I think so. Perhaps it is the higher self and lower self battling it out. Jordan’s higher self says “You will be fine wherever you are and whoever you are with,” while his lower self says. “I like it fine where I am. I don’t want to go anywhere else, take any risks. Let me stay here where it’s safe.”

Albert Einstein says, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Seen in this light, it is miracle that Jordan works through his resistance each and every day and takes the leap into the relative unknown of my house, of school and of home again. I must appreciate more just how brave this little boy is as he steps each day into the unknown and lives to tell the tale.