I’m feeling like perhaps I’m reaching some semblance of routine. It will take weeks, if not months, for me to be fully trained and comfortable at the new job. It’s just different enough to be a fresh challenge in ways I hadn’t anticipated… and the cold office isn’t helping any. I did go out and buy a few new sweaters, and those have been helping enormously. The Jr. Mad Scientist and I had a conversation yesterday about exercise, winter, and outdoor adventures. She pointed out that none of my children got my athletic inclination (and I should point out here for posterity I was not that athletic a child, simply one who liked to be outside when she wasn’t reading). I realized that I am sorely missing all the hiking I was doing this summer. Sadly, winter is… well, winter. Dull and dreary and definitely not a good time to explore new hiking trails on potentially greasy wet Ohio clay. I love being out of doors, I do not love the risk of falling and injuring myself.
The Ginja Ninja continues to flutter on the brink of the nest, and it’s consuming a lot of my time and energy coaxing her toward that last leap of faith we both hope will end with her soaring independently into the future. I’m trying to treasure the moments, even through the brain fog of fatigue, because I know in years to come the retrospective will blur away the frustration and leave me with regret for times not spent together. That’s life. That’s motherhood. It’s been almost 14 years since I started this blog, in the early larval form of what it would become – it was a mommy blog. My way of sharing the children’s delightful and funny moments with my far-flung family and friends. It’s still a little bit of that, to be honest, even though I suspect most of you are here for the fiction, not the family. I can’t help it, though. They are inextricably a part of me.
As we were talking, they wanted to know which of my children is most like me. I told the girls that I can see things in all of them that remind me of myself at their ages, but that none of them are exactly like me. That’s the way it should be, yes? They are their own people. From the beginning, these four little beans had their own personalities, and I have always been amazed at how unique they were, and how four people with the same genes and home could be so different and special. They may not feel like it, right now, but they are pretty amazing. Who knows what the future will bring for them. I can tell them things I did I wish I had done differently. I can give them cautions against actions taken now that could have repercussions they cannot possibly foresee. I can’t see into the future, either. All I can do is bring more experience to the conversation.
Chemical reactions proceed along predictable paths, until the system reaches an equilibrium. Equilibrium is not a point of static inaction, although I think most people envision it that way. Instead, it’s smaller reactions, like sitting on a seesaw with an equally matched partner, bouncing up and down in back-and-forth rhythm. I think most of us old enough to remember seesaws (do they still have them on playgrounds?) also remember the pain that could come with trying to play with someone who was much heavier, and could launch you into the air, or sit on their end laughing while you couldn’t get down – and then jump off in a hurry leaving you to come down with a painful thud. Equilibrium is a gentle balancing act, give and take in equal parts.
If I can teach them that. To not let someone in their life who won’t give back as much as they take. Who won’t jump off their end of the plank and let them down with bone-shaking force. To not give up everything like a strong acid dissociates into solution never to come back together again. That when life gets out of balance, if you just keep going on, it will come back into equilibrium again. It’s just the transition aided by catalysts of job changes, moving, relationships, children born, deaths… those are the difficult times. But endure, and life will find a way again.