Day 14 wants us to write a letter using an interesting word:
Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.
Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.
(I’m ignoring the twist on this one, focusing on the word-as-inspiration part.)
What book do I have closest to me? Java – a Beginner’s Guide. (Because I decided that I should probably re-teach myself Java (again) since it would be helpful at work to, you know, actually be able to review the code I’m testing if there’s an issue.) Page 29 has a listing of the Java keywords and a little blurb about what keywords are and what they mean, then goes into the next section about classes (the programming kind, not things with teachers and students and learning). Most interesting word there? Transient.
Transient, in Java speak, means just what it means to normal folks: temporary. It’s only there for some brief period of time but will go away as soon as it’s no longer needed. It’s for purposefully denoting something that will go away. But, in life, we can’t always control things as easily as in programming and I’ve had to learn that lesson again and again. Things don’t stay the same forever. Things change. You’ve got to learn to adapt.
I am not someone who deals with change well. If I had my way, 90% of my life would remain the same, with 10% change allowed so I don’t become completely bored. I like my structure, I like my routines. I like knowing exactly what I’m going to do when I wake up in the morning, except for that little bit of something that makes today different than yesterday. I like when we have plans and those plans are followed-through; changing plans on me will crush my spirits, unless I really, truly disliked the plan.
But, I’ve got a nine month old. Things are constantly changing for reasons I can’t control and because of decisions not made my me. I’m having to learn to adapt. Learn that everything involving my daughter is transient.
Friends with kids who are just a bit older than Squirms like to point out how fast things change. Their son is only four months older and it’s hard to believe the difference in what he can do. They remember when he got his first teeth, he was so upset until they appeared. Wasn’t that just three months ago? Time may go by painfully slow when your kid is sick or teething or you’re holding her through an airplane flight but, looking back, zoom!
And they’re right. Things change pretty quick with babies. Squirms learns to do something new or falls in loving with (or out of love with) something or wants to be held a different way. She’s gone from hanging out in her bouncy chair to some bouncy chair and playing on the floor to on the floor, playing almost all the time. Love of toys? Showed up at four months and gets more intense daily. We worried that she was never going to like solid food, now we can’t keep her from feeding herself, even if it’s from our plates (though she still can’t – or won’t – hold her own bottle). Lying down, that’s for suckers or babies who want to crawl army-style over to their toys or the cat. She’s starting to get separation anxiety when we walk away; it’s not direct attention she always wants, but needing to confirm that we’re still nearby if she were to need something.
Just when I get used to one phase, we’re thrown into another. (Like that old joke about everywhere I’ve ever lived except Southern California – don’t like the weather? Wait an hour!) And we have to figure out what it is we need to do to keep her happy and healthy. New bedtime routine to include being rocked for a few minutes because she no longer is fine to just be put in her crib straight away. Start meals by cutting up portion of her food and putting it on her tray (or within reach when we’re not at home). Making sure one parent is always in view so she won’t freak out that we’ve left forever.
While the changes are hard for my habit-clinigng self, they’re also exciting. Soon there will be walking (and baby proofing) and talking (and learning to decipher toddler talk) and picking out her own outfits (and conversations about whether a dinosaur costume is appropriate for church). She’s on her way from a helpless baby to a little girl who can do things for herself. And I have a ring-side seat for all of it.
(I wrote this post a few days ago, then a friend posted this and now I have a new mantra “It only gets better.”)