Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Agents of Change

This is for those who will be changed, those who are changing, and those who have been changed by love.

Agents of Change by Chrissy Martin

You never realize how much a child will change your life until you have one. The Johnson’s baby commercials are true when they say, “Having a baby changes everything.” Children change things, though the changes are different for everyone.

I’ve never been fond of change. I’ll always order the same things at a restaurant, get my hair cut the same way, and buy the same brand of socks. It was a sad day when a certain restaurant took my favorite item off their menu. Having children has required, even demanded that things in my life change.

Before children my husband and I washed and waxed our vehicles regularly. The interiors were spotless from being vacuumed. I adamantly declared that my vehicle would not be messy after I had children. I now drive a minivan that can consider itself lucky when it gets washed and it’s a party when the wax makes an appearance. The interior, well the interior is a mess. When we did vacuum it there were enough particles of food to make up a new type of snack mix.

Before children I was determined we wouldn’t let having kids totally interrupt the things we normally did. Things like quick weekend getaways, kayak adventures, and weeklong bicycle trips. Yes, I was na├»ve and now I know better. Spur of the moment weekend trips are a rarity, especially when it still takes a van full of child related items for a weekend or a week. I found I’d rather stare at my newborn than kayak for 3 days. Also pumping and dumping milk on a backcountry island lessened my desire to do that regularly. Our yearly bike trips now occur about once every three years with an addition of grandparents in an RV to follow us with the kids. It’s now 1-3 miles hikes instead of full day excursions.

I must have changed because I don’t miss those things that much. I’d much rather talk about my adventure in the backyard with the kids than the time my kayak capsized and I got stranded on a rocky shore for a night. I’d much rather plan a trip to Costco with the kids than plan for the next big trip. (It requires a lot less packing!) I’d happily take a 1-hour hike in the Sandias now than climb the next mountain peak. I’d happily tell of potty training mishaps than discuss politics or the stock market. I’m happy to have bright plastic objects decorate my living room rather than have it look like it belongs in a magazine. I’m happy to wear my comfy clothes over my old professional clothes. I’m happy to cut coupons to save money instead of buying something I don’t need. I’m happy to just be a mom – Bring on the Change!

I know that as my kids get older they’ll only increase the amount of time they can hike. They’ll be able to bike along side of us and we’ll hopefully be able to pack less stuff. I’m cherishing every change as it presents itself and learning to accept that things continually change.

I’ve seen birth and I’ve seen death. I’ve seen mothers raise a family of eight in a cardboard house smaller than my bathroom and I’ve seen a mother raise a family of four in a house more than 3 times the size of mine. I’ve seen childless mothers and motherless children. I’ve seen a mother embrace a child from a different country as her own and I’ve seen 80 children in a orphanage embrace a woman from a different country as their mother. I’ve seen laughter, smiles and tears on a child’s face and I’ve had laughter, smiles and tears on my face because of a child. Regardless of the circumstances we live in, children change our lives and us. We can let the love for our children change us and we can let the love of our heavenly Father change us, all for the better.

The inside of our van on a good day.

My Little Agents of Change on an adventure.

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