WELCOME TO THE CLUB
Recently, in my travels, I made a new acquaintance; a young woman with a 1-year old son. As our conversation progressed, I noted to her that my husband and I were going to have our own baby. Within minutes the two of us had bonded and she started to share all the things she had learned in the last year about how to take care of her little boy. I gained so much wisdom and practical information from that brief encounter. She was happy to welcome me to the club called “Parenthood”.
A few years ago, I attended the fiftieth birthday party of a dear friend. During the party, the guests were separated into two groups, those who were under 50 and those 50 and older. Then the guests who were fifty and older publicly welcomed the birthday boy into their fold. As they did this, several of the guests talked about what had happened to them personally when they had reached this landmark year.
These are two examples of a rite of passage, but there are many more we experience throughout our lifetimes. Some examples are: puberty and adolescence, the first kiss, entering adulthood, our first job out of school, marriage, even death. These life transitions often note our current status in life and to whom we associate. They are primal in nature and connect us to our “tribe” in a fundamental way.
Where are you at in your life? Are you marking a new transition? Does this passage cause you pain and loss or is it a cause for celebration? Staying connected to others who have lived through these situations is a healthy way to retain perspective and to ground oneself. We need to listen and apply the wisdom of those who have been on this part of the path before us – in both happy and sad times.