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Changes and Choices

March 6, 2018
By Betsy Bethel - Editor , OVParent

Welcome to the new design and size of OV Parent! We are excited to be able to offer you more content and a return to some of our sorely missed features, including the Book Bag book review column from local library staff and the monthly calendar of events! How did you ever know what books to read or what was going on during the hiatus!? Well, now with magazine in hand, you can tell all your friends where to meet for the next play date.

This is my 12th year as editor of this handy little publication, and that means my daughter will be 12 this month. For years before I married, I wondered what my baby would be like, then after she was born I wondered what she would be like in school. While my daydreams were fun, the reality has been more amazing than I ever could have imagined.

Now that Emma is 12, I can't help but continue my little "I wonder ..." game. I wonder what she'll be like as an eighth-grader or a senior in high school or an adult. ... I know, I?need to live in the moment, not in the past or the future. Mindfulness is a discipline I have yet to master.

One thing I know for sure, no matter what Emma will be like, she will be mine, forever and always, whether she likes it or not! (FYI: The tween years are rough.)

Things have been changing a lot in my life, as well. Along with a hormonal tween-ager, I?have been busy taking care of my live-in mother-in-law, who, as I write this, is in a skilled care facility itching to get home after a brief (but scary) hospitalization. So in a way, I'm also a tween - I'm in between taking care of both a child and an elderly parent. Self-care is super important in this situation, and I've found myself teetering on the edge of sickness or exhaustion on any given day. I've had to step down from certain responsibilities and step up my availability at home. For Emma, being a tween embodies a transformation in many areas: social, emotional, physical. She is faced with decisions on a daily basis, and those decisions will impact her life in as-yet unknown ways. She also is faced with accepting realities about which she has no say, such as how tall she grows (she is now 5-7.)

I, too, am facing many decisions regarding the care of my family members that will affect not just me, but all of them. And there are some things over which I have no control.

We all make choices, every day, and we won't always make the ones that are best. But I'm hoping that with the coming of Spring, we will step a little lighter in the knowledge that we are not alone.

One day, I pray I?will be able to pay forward all the kindnesses I've been shown during this in-between time.



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