Re­la­tion­ships Change, but Bonds Last

The Washington Post - - The Region - — Anne Sadler, Rockville

By what magic does that red, cry­ing, hun­gry, de­mand­ing new­born

Be­come the coo­ing cud­dling, laugh­ing, de­light­ful bun­dle?

How does that no-say­ing, un­co­op­er­a­tive, foot­stamp­ing, finicky 2-year-old Change into the happy, curious, help­ful 3-year-old? What hap­pened to the fright­ened, cry­ing, cling­ing first-day kinder­gart­ner

That she now is so so­cially in­volved in play­mates that she has not time for me?

That happy child who used to think her fa­ther and I were the source of all truth

Now cor­rects us with what her teacher said.

At 15, my for­merly happy, com­pan­ion­able, creative, hu­mor­ous child

Be­came, at the flick of a wrist, an older ex­am­ple of a ter­ri­ble two: a teenager.

She went away to col­lege as a half grown-up but still de­pen­dent child

And re­turned a de­light­ful, in­de­pen­dent adult with strong opin­ions.

She be­came my friend and com­pan­ion with in­ter­ests to share

Un­til she de­vel­oped an all-con­sum­ing in­ter­est in the man she will marry.

Th­ese changes are con­fus­ing, some­times de­light­ful, oc­ca­sion­ally dif­fi­cult.

They come when I am en­joy­ing or ad­just­ing, not ready for change. Life feels like I am shar­ing a book. My fel­low reader fin­ishes a page be­fore I am ready to turn the page.

FAM­ILY PHO­TOS

Anne Sadler re­flects on how quickly chil­dren, such as her daugh­ter Joan Sadler Walker, shown as a young­ster at left, grow up. Joan, above, and her hus­band, David Walker, now have a daugh­ter of their own.

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