Daylight Savings Time starts today with a change in time.  We “Spring Forward” and set the clocks ahead an hour, effectively “losing” an hour of sleep.  BUT change is not all bad (as Ami points out below), because tomorrow is National Napping Day!

We have all experienced life circumstances changing and not going the way we want or expect. Change can be difficult and produce many emotions, causing us to assume the worst of our situations. Change can feel chaotic, because we don’t have control, or do we?

My husband and I have been anticipating empty nest stage for the past 2 years. It began when our oldest was preparing to leave for college, as a senior in high school. Now our youngest is a senior in high school preparing for college. We moved to a great little town and started planning for the near future. We could already see how life was going to look for us. It would be easy dinner planning for two. No more huge grocery trips. Life was going to be simple. At least so we thought.

Our oldest son returned home over winter break and decided to withdraw from school and stay home. We were somewhat prepared for this. College has been a tough transition and there have been multiple stressful events that have occurred for him. Basically, life has kicked his little booty. I heard someone give a speech to high school seniors recently about how protected they are right now, but when they leave and go into the world they have to find their own protection. I thought of my oldest son. Our children have so much protection and guard rails around them when they are growing up between us, church, coaches, teachers and other parents watching their backs. My son experienced going away and realized no one had his back, he was on his own in a big scary world.

This was change we embraced. Looking back, we realize our son wasn’t ready for all that he has experienced in the past year and half. We see he needs some more of our influence and protection. He needs a slow introduction into the world that exists today. I learned some valuable lessons in all of this.

18 years of parenting is not enough. Sometimes we push our children to grow-up faster than they are ready. We expect our kids to be college ready or even expect them to go to college. This experience with my son caused me to question both. We are still processing this, and I will have to let you know how it turns out. Our short-term plan is, our son is going to work as he is figuring out who he is, so that he can figure out what he wants. Identity is lost in the chaos.

I have no regrets. I can see it was good for him to leave and experience some independence. This gave him perspective, new respect and appreciation for his family. Just because things didn’t turn out like we thought when we sent him, there have been lessons and growth in all of us through the trial. I believe this is the reason for the detours in life.

Relationship is a gift. I have experienced closer connection with my son. I feel blessed to be given more time with him, to develop a new relationship at this stage of life. We have adult conversations with our son on a daily basis about real life, setting goals, and building character. We listen. He listens. We connect.

Change is going to happen, but we have a choice and control how we respond when it does. Change can bring chaos or character.  It’s up to us.