Life on the Trails

Even when every day is the same, every day is different.

The weather is different, which means we have to dress differently. It may change our schedule or our plans. The light coming in the windows change the mood in the apartment, the perception of the passage of time.

Little Miss changes every day as well. She’s growing so quickly, learning new things, and our expectations of her change as well. Is she ready for more rolling? Are these clothes getting too small? Let’s try a new headband, just to see how she looks.

Somedays it is easy to get out of bed, no matter how late I went to sleep the night before. Somedays it is hard to get out of bed, no matter how early I went to sleep the night before.

I tell myself we’ll get out the door by 10:00, be done with the shopping by 11:00, catch the bus at 11:15. That will be our routine. Every Monday. Like clockwork. But it never is clockwork. It is always different, there are always snags and adjustments and urgent needs to see how many apples tall we are, which leads us back to the produce aisle when we should be on our way to the bus stop.

It might make my life a little easier if I had a schedule for dinner. A rotation. Every two weeks we’ll repeat. Or every month. Or maybe every Friday is pizza day. Every Sunday we have lasagna. But where’s the fun in that?

The boys are excited to play with train tracks all day one day, then all they want to do the next is read books. Some days they can’t help out soon enough, and others they act like I’m speaking a language they’ve never heard, and my requests for help are met with blank eyes and slack jaws.

If I run on roads, I get a smooth surface, predictability, fewer chances to trip and get hurt. But if I run on trails, I need constant vigilance to shift and adjust, to get over that log or under that branch, to avoid the rocks and ruts and roots. And I get a sharper mind, more precise reflexes, specific strength out of it. Running on terrain that changes constantly, with the weather, with the lighting, with foliage, with the time of day means a quicker, stronger, more flexible body, a mind more attuned and aware.

And that’s why I embrace these small changes that every day brings. There is no room for growth, no possibility for strength if there is no opposition. These forced adjustments, these unpredictabilities, these ever-shifting expectations and priorities and levels of cooperation mean learning to bend without breaking, to re-evaluate and re-direct, to be open to the possibility that nothing could go my way and it’ll still be fine.

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1 Comment

  1. Enjoyed reading this. Great perspective on the many, many changes that motherhood brings.


    lizzie Reply:

    Thanks. It is a good time, isn’t it. Never a dull moment.


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