Substance and Spice

Substance and Spice June 1, 2013


I worked second shift for 8 months. 30+ hours a week, going to bed at 1 in the morning, getting up to watch the kids during the day, and going to work as soon as evening arrived. 2 months ago, I had the chance to switch to daytime hours, so I did. And the deal came with full-time hours and a decent raise to boot. So now I get up early, work 8 hours and come home before my oldest gets home from school. They are good hours, dream hours really, some people work their whole lives to get hours like these. It’s been good. And it’s been new.

New is exhausting sometimes.


We enrolled Ms Drama in school, and went to her kindergarten orientation. I sat back in my chair and yawned. I chatted with Ms Action’s kindergarten teacher. Afterwards we went out to eat as a family. I remember going to the kindergarten orientation last year for Ms Action, and how scared I was, how tense I felt. I think my jaw was clenched the whole time. I knew I wanted her to be in school, but it was so unknown. I took notes, I worried, I didn’t talk to anyone there. I cried on the way home.

New is terrifying sometimes.


A friend posts a picture of her newborn baby, and I find myself choked up a little. Remembering my own babies, how tiny they were. Despite the exhaustion and the intensity of caring for a young child’s every need, I sometimes wish that I could keep them this way, young enough to be able to kiss the boo-boos away, and have them crawl into my lap so I can rock them and whisper a song about how special they are. Instead they continue to grow, toes popping out of shoes, hair growing into eyes. My two year old rips his diaper off and demands juice in his cup. My 6 year old freaking reads books! I can’t keep them from getting hurt. I can’t know everything they hear and what they internalize.

New is unstoppable sometimes.


But, if it were possible, would I really want ultimate control? Would I wish to keep everything the same? Would I gain by hiding myself away from any new or unknown situation or task? Would my children be safe if only I could protect them from ever experiencing pain or sadness?

A stream that gets clogged becomes stagnant water. A hug that is too tight can be suffocating.

New is change.

Change is not a bad thing.

Change is part of the flow life, part of the experience of waking up each day and interacting with the world.

Change is the spice of life, and it’s mixed with the substance of life, things that are the same.

Consistency, much like change, is important too.

The sun comes up again. Those dang birds start chirping at 4 in the morning again. It rains again. Flowers bloom, and die. The neighbor takes their dog for a walk. The floor gets dirty again, we sweep it again. We make dinner, and eat it, again. We sleep. We cry. We laugh. We love. Again and again.

When the newness of anything becomes overwhelming, I would do well to remember the sameness, and how closely change and consistency are intertwined.

Life is an journey, accepting the changes and the consistencies equally seems to be key somehow

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