Trusting change will happen

Photo credit: Sam Beebe, Ecotrust

Hello, friends! I hope your Fall is off to a promising start. Ours is; after so many years of rocky school transitions, I'm amazed to say that this one has been the easiest yet. It's a good reminder that things do change, even when they seem like they never will.

Speaking of change, I'm heading toward a big milestone moment: this weekend we're celebrating my son's bar mitzvah.

(When Jewish boys turn 13, they "become a bar mitzvah," which means they become full, adult members of the Jewish community.)

I'm not usually one to get sentimental over "how fast they grow," but this milestone is particularly meaningful to me. Not because we're all that religious (we're not), but because my son's younger years were full of stress and complication, and now…well, that chapter is finished.

Luke* is such a happy, confident, healthy young man that I struggle to trust my memories of the angry, frightened boy he used to be. Did that really happen? Was that really him?

But from this vantage point, it feels strangely good to remember that time. It did happen and it was him. Those years were painful, and, this weekend, we get a chance to celebrate the distance between then and now. We get to remind our son about all he has accomplished, some with our help, most on his own.

If you're navigating your own dark tunnel right now, I hope this will remind you that there is something different up ahead. It's scary not to know how far ahead, or whether or not "different" means "better." You may not be able to see right now, but there are people with you, ready to help you find your way.

Photo credit: Sam Beebe, Ecotrust

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*"Luke" is my son's Internet name. I keep his real name out of my writing mainly to hold his search engine spot open. When future employers and love interests Google his name, I want the results to be stuff he's created, not me.


  1. says

    I have a really horrible awful video of my three year old having a meltdown and screaming that I turn off the camera. He’s nine now. I ran into it once, accidentally, but I avoid watching it. I’ve never deleted it for a reason however. I need to remember what it used to be like. Maybe someday I’ll even show it to him.

    Congratulations to your son, but also to you. You’ve helped him become what he is now.

  2. Amy says

    Thank you so much for this. It really touched me but in a way that doesn’t actually have to do with my kids! Just that I’m having a really rough couple of weeks — not REALLY rough, nothing earth shattering, just innumerable little stresses that are totally wearing me out, wearing me down. Anyway, there is not a single thing I needed to hear today more than this. There is something different up ahead — whatever it may be. Thank you.

  3. says

    I’m a mother of two and one of them is a boy. My son is going to college now but there was a time in his life that he had such many difficulties. Everyday was a struggle, on my part I never gave up because I know, one day we would surpass this all.

    Congratulations to you and your son.

  4. Asha Dornfest (Parent Hacks) says

    WAAAAHHHH. Thank you to all three of you for these beautiful replies. YOU, THIS is why I blog, why I am so proud and honored to be a part of this conversation.

    My Kids Mom: I totally hear you on your need to keep that video. We can now tell affectionate stories about some of Luke’s biggest (and most irrational) blowups, and he laughs along with us. It’s good to remember.

    Amy: I know that feeling, of being bitten by 1000 mosquitos. It sucks. And it won’t last. I wish we could grab a cup of coffee together!

    Marina: I’m thinking about your son right now, and how it felt for him during those hard times, KNOWING his mom KNEW it would all work out. What a gift you gave him.