I'm not good at it. I never have been - and when I say never, I mean ... when my parent's brought my brother home from the hospital for the first time, I packed my bags and was leaving. I wasn't having that kind of change in my house - I was going to go find a different house for me. I'm good at going with the flow, I'm good at having opinions when asked, I'm good at spontaneous dinner dates, happy hours, or weekend trips on the fly, but what I'm not good at is hard, concrete, from one side to the other - change.
These past 60 days have been days of change. Where going with the flow just isn't cutting it for me anymore. I need to start accepting it. It all hit last night.
In 2008 - almost a full 7 years ago - when I was first getting to know Jake and his family, Jake took me to Jacque's spot. It was in the fall, in the midst of the holidays ... Thanksgiving time? I had just gone through meeting ALL of these "people" - who are now no less than my family - but I wanted to go visit Jacque. So he took me ... we got Starbucks along the way - and we just sat. An hour into our visit - it was a gorgeous day - Jake told me he didn't really like being there. It's not where he felt his sister. I don't know why I remember this moment so vividly. It was a moment of understanding.
Before I even knew, there was a different path laid out for me to get to know my husband's first sibling. I know I will meet her some day - just like I know I will meet my uncle one day, I don't doubt that. I know and I truly believe that she surrounds us daily, I don't doubt that either. But it's a different path than every day life - getting to see Jake intentionally mess with her, getting to see her push buttons that only a sister can push - the real life stuff, some people might call it their "normal". I crave these moments. Those that got to witness them I feel a jealousy towards that is so difficult to explain.
Dad emphasizing just how "BIG" Jackson's feet were when he was born.
This is why I believe Jackson is part of God's path for me. From the day he was born, I have tried my absolute hardest to be as much a part of his life as I can be. I couldn't wait to physically hold, touch, see Jake's second sibling. When he was a newborn - at the drop of a hat, if Mom (Jen) didn't mind the company, maybe needed a nap, etc. I would take any moment I could to just sit there and rock him. Through the teething phase, the temper tantrums, the sick days, learning to talk, hearing him say my name, the first soccer season where he didn't touch the ball, to the current one where he's scoring the goals, ALL of it. Being a part of Jackson's "real life" moments have always been SO important to me in ways that I can't explain.
Puerto Rico, Summer 2009
Getting to tell Jake's sibling face to face that I love them on a weekly basis is so precious. I know others may take it for granted, but it is truly a gift.
At my attempt to put this all into words, when I try to understand the immense sadness I've been feeling recently ... the fact that Jackson is moving a distance away where I can't be a part of his "real life" anymore - the sleepovers, the soccer games, the homework sessions, Jake walking him to school, his moody-ness - is a type of change I realized I was going to have to accept last night. I woke up with a clearer understanding of my emotions.
Jackson's First Sleepover.
I know we will visit. We've got airline points accumulating. We have the travel budget increased. It's just a hard, concrete, from one side to the other - change.
When I say I'm happy, I truly am happy for them. I'm going to miss them so very much. I try so hard to smile and not to cry. I try so hard to talk about it when I don't want to. I understand fully how selfish this post is. I understand fully that it is NOT about me. This move is wonderful for the family. It's new opportunities for each member of the family, new memories to make, new experiences to experience, new people to meet. A change in a positive way for them. I promise I understand. It's about looking past myself and being able to see the happiness.
Playing with Photo Booth on the iPad.
I have 40 days until this new path begins - I'm ready. I can't wait to receive pictures from afar. I can't wait to become a pro at Skype. I can't wait to be the sister-in-law that mails surprise packages. This is a change for me. But I'm ready to learn and I'm ready to start the new path.