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WHAT'S CHANGED? Normally in February, our family of three heads down to Florida to visit my dad and attend a conference for my husband’s company. This happens during Presidents Day weekend and is always a good getaway. We are able to see family, visit a slightly warmer climate than ours, and my husband, Josh, gets work done too. Plus, we have my dad to watch Jacob while Josh and I go out for Valentine’s Day! In years past, this has worked out great. Now, Jacob is in first grade. It’s an exciting time, but it also makes traveling harder. We can’t just get up and go whenever Josh and I have time off. We have to consider whether it’s worth it for Jacob to miss school days. Would it be better to save that time for a different trip, possibly to somewhere farther away? We got out the notebook and started doing the pro-con debate. It’s a change, to be sure. Then again, isn’t that what family does? Like any living thing, as a family grows, it also changes. And that change can be good. The last time we got down to Florida over winter break/Christmas, I was so impressed with my brother, Paco, and his relationship with his little nephew. Paco is 17 now, so he is practically an adult, and he acts like one. He’s thoughtful, mature, and loves spending time with Jacob. They play and talk together, and Paco is great with kids. He’s patient when Jacob just has to show him this or that toy and likes making Jacob laugh. As Paco heads into the next stage in his life, I’m glad to know he’s taking kindness and patience with him. He’s someone I’m glad my son is looking up to. As you can imagine, Jacob loves Paco. We’re happy watching Jacob grow and change, too. He’s self- sufficient, carrying his own backpack during travel and getting out his own snacks. He’s also developing his own likes, dislikes, and relationships along the way — just like the rest of us. And I’m very glad he’s close with my younger brother. I don’t know whether or not we’re heading to Florida yet, but I do know this is a sign of changes to come. As our family grows up, and things change, we’ll learn to embrace it. And hey, maybe we can take an extra-long vacation in 2018, if we don’t go to Florida.
–Meliha Perez Halp ern
See? Change can be good!
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