It happened again last night - I got the sniffly, groggy Chase at my bedside around two a.m. - telling me he was having "the pain."

We have been battling knee pain with him for almost a year now. I. HAVE. ABOUT. HAD. IT. The poor kid - I know he's suffering, but the doctors tell us there's not much we can do. We've done rounds of x-rays on hips, knees, and spine. We've consulted two different orthopedic surgeons, as well as begged the free advice of doctor friends. Everyone tells us the same thing - growing pains. The cure? Nothing. You just have to wait it out.

Either that or stop growing.

It's made me think about change and the inevitable growth that we gain from it. I can't think of a single time in my entire life that I had an easy growing experience. Never did shopping happily at the mall ever teach me any life lessons (BLASPHEMY, I know), but true nonetheless. All my life's lessons have come through hard-fought, painful experiences that sometimes seemed more than I could bear. Times when my load to bear felt so heavy that the only thing left to do was cry. Times like trying to sell our house last year. Times like struggling as newlyweds to survive graduate school, bad jobs, and pregnancy. Times like sick kids and all THAT entails - bodily fluid so endless you feel like you're bathing in it.

But as time passes, and I gain the wisdom that hindsight provides - the leftover that remains is growth. Growth that only comes as a result of the hard times. But it's a good thing. Change is good. Sometimes it hurts, OH, IT REALLY CAN HURT, but the reward you get is greater than the suffering you bore. And the lessons you learn make you strong enough to handle the next thing headed your way. It's as if you need to learn that lesson in order to be ready for the next one. Line upon line, as they say.

So we'll keep on icing that little knee of yours, buddy. I'll stumble down the stairs to that box of Tylenol when I'm not even awake. I'll help you stretch it out so you can sleep. For what we are gaining is a strong little body that will carry you for the rest of your beautiful life.

But like everything in MY life, I just wish it was all a bit more convenient for me.

It isn't.

And I'll get over it.