It’s ironic that this week’s writing prompt is “same” after a week that’s been anything but same. My daughters turned 5-years-old on Tuesday and also began pre-K for the year. Our family has a whole new schedule now since they’re attending five days a week. I feel like I can breathe again and get to a few projects I’ve been putting off all summer, like purging KonMari style.
For today, I write. Join us?
At the beginning of motherhood, it was the repetitive nature of “same” that squelched my soul. Feed, pump, sleep, repeat. Every day felt like the movie “Groundhog Day,” which is exactly the same day on repeat. As much as we all appreciate same, we count on each day to be distinguished in some way. Not for all of them to run together. Even the most rigid of us don’t really want “same” day-in and day-out.
We want the newborns to grow up and begin talking, walking, and eating independently. We want our spouses to change in the areas that bug us. I want to get rid of bad habits that have been the same for far too long.
And yet same can also be an anchor. There are things in life we count on to be the same, and if they are shaken, so are we.
Fourteen years ago to this day, 9/11 interrupted the “same” monotony we were dwelling in as Americans and told us life would never be the same. And not only for those immediately impacted by the twin towers’ fall, but all of us all over America. Somehow the illusion of safety under which we lived shattered. At least for our generation who had not known the devastation of either World War.
In a world where so much is shaken, we need “the same.” But change is inevitable, both in seasons and in relationships. How can we adapt to the shifting tides without being overwhelmed by them?
A poem I wrote in 2007 upon reflection on 9/11 –
children playing happily in the streets,
businessmen going about their routines,
the Big Apple buzzing with activity
the unthinkable occurred
we were attacked by terrorists
Not “over there”
the towers fell
our proud self-confidence with them
the fear of attack,
danger lurks on every corner
wives grieve, children fear
that today he might disappear
terror enters the American dream
Now exposed as a myth
(or a political ideal).