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I’ve become convinced that life is just a series of ever-changing patterns. The most helpful quality we can have is adaptation, and an understanding that permanence is an illusion. Nothing stays the same forever.

My husband, daughter and I gave undergone a lot of changes over the last several years.

Almost immediately out of the gate when my husband and I married, I changed jobs. Then he did. Then Reagan started school. Then I went back to school. Then hubs changed jobs. Then I graduated. Then I ran for office. Then I changed jobs after I lost my race. And in between the big changes, there was sickness, and surgeries, and holidays, and family crises, and disagreements, and fights, and tears, and school projects, and broken vehicles, broken dishes, and broken hearts.

There has also been a lot of laughter, snuggles, hugs and kisses, good food, vacations and day trips, interesting books and movies, music, birthday parties, Christmas parties, BBQs, bonfires, gifts given and received, moments of pride, teamwork as a family, and thanksgiving for all of the things, good and bad, that have made this mess we call our lives something beautiful.

Nothing is permanent.

This morning, I’ll drop off my child for her last day of class at the school that she’s attended for the last 9 years. This fall, we are taking a different route. In 2 more years, possibly another route. And after that…..well, she will have a wide open world of possibilities in front of her.

Change can be scary, even when it’s positive. Leaving the familiar for the unknown is not always easy. But changes are what make life…..life.

For the first time in a very, very long time, I feel like I’m doing something to positively help my child, give her tools and put her in situations that are going to help propel her in the direction she wants to go. We’re going from treading water to making some active laps toward our destination.

I told her yesterday to hold on to all the positive things that her school gave to her. Time has a way of diminishing some of the more painful memories to where they don’t overshadow the good ones. If we choose that. But we have to choose. We have to “hold fast” to the good.

I told her to write about it, or pray about it, but to find a way to release the bad, and hold on to the good. And be thankful for both. Because both helped to make her the person she was today. They have shaped her, and shaped us, as a family.

In much the way prayer changes us, not God, parenting changes us, not so much the child.

She challenges, inspires, and makes me, more than any other influence I’ve ever had. She has been, and continues to amaze me with her bravery, her tenacity, her ability to adapt and roll with all of the changes made within and without her control.

Tomorrow, I’ll watch her accept her awards, we’ll celebrate a job well done, and then we’ll look ahead, not back, and embrace the changes ahead.

She is clothed with strength and dignity,

and she laughs without fear of the future…..