How to change like a child

THE Relationship Blog

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This week is about change and how it affects us. All of this is for the brand new show we are debuting on Mingle Media TV on Thursday, April 21, at Noon ET. The show will be chronicling our big move back west and having one of our babies leave the nest. Change is a natural process of life. Change is good. Change is opportunity. However, change is uncomfortable and awkward and scary and oh my gosh I have to run to the bathroom!

Our children have been taught to embrace change. We have our childhood trauma stories about change. We will start with Lee’s.

Lee says: When I was a little girl growing up in the mean streets of Torrance, California, my parents were business owners. My parents owned a clothing factory in Huntington Park. For those of you unfamiliar with the Los Angeles County area, Huntington Park cannot be confused with Huntington Beach. For one, there is no beach and secondly, it is nothing but industry and factories and if you don’t go over a million train tracks to get where you are going in that area you aren’t really there. Anywho, my parents worked all the time. They would work 6 days a week and would usually do paper-work when they got home. They were tireless.

Our time-off was spent with our cousins. My Mom’s sister’s kids and my Dad’s sister’s kids. We would play and cavort and dance and sing and laugh. This was my family. Until one day, in the summer of 1980, I all of a sudden had more cousins and more aunts and uncles. There was no, ‘Listen kids, our family is getting bigger’ speech. It was one day my Dad left for the Mariel in Cuba and was gone a month. He comes back, my sister gets married and all of a sudden I have two male cousins living in my house that don’t speak English, are as sophisticated as hicks and they like to spread mayonnaise on everything. I mean everything. I need you to remember here that my parents work. A lot. So, little old Lee was left to care for her little brother and these too apes who were supposedly my cousins.

My life changed in so many ways and so rapidly that it was only a matter of time before I started not being able to sleep and I had the patience of a coke fiend. At the tender age of 14, I was expected to be the lady of the house, care for 3 boys, cook, clean and make sure that the police were never called on us. At no point did my parents ask me if this sudden change was hard on me. I missed my sister who was off being married. I also resented her for leaving us during this weird upheaval. Sure, now, 30 years later, it’s cool to have these cousins in my life. Back then, I felt it was an intrusion and forced reworking of my family. Besides, how many times can you be amazed with a guy spreading mayo on his scrambled eggs.

This summer, we are moving our family to California. The boys, Bobby and Ricky, are 7 and 4. Jeannie, our little co-ed, is 18 and off to college in the fall. She is very aware of the changes coming. The boys are treating this move like an adventure. Will they feel unsafe and uprooted? Perhaps, but we are watching for those things now. We are doing everything in our power to ameliorate any anxieties before they take root. This is an exciting and frightening time for our little family. Hopefully, if we stay on top of things, our kids won’t feel like me 30 years ago. No surprises. Just excitement!

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