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On everyday destabilization

Hello there,

I return to writing after a brief hiatus. Sometimes, to be truly present, one must stop documenting life and instead immerse oneself in every moment. This was a necessity for me over the past few weeks, but now, as things have resumed their normal pace, I find myself once again in front of a fire on a quiet evening, with time to write.

One of the most peculiar experiences of parenthood is how swiftly everything can slot into place. After the initial shock of realizing you have a small human in your house requiring constant care, it becomes normal. You settle into routines and rhythms that simply become part of your existence — but these routines are in constant flux, and your life becomes discombobulated again and again, though sometimes you can't pinpoint exactly why.

What changed? Nothing significant — except for a hundred little micro-rituals that shifted just enough to destabilize the entire ecosystem. The bedtime that was once 7 is now 7:15, dinner takes 20 minutes longer, wake windows have widened, and your child's expanding curiosity means you now spend a much longer chunk of your evening with her, teaching her sounds that animals make.

This destabilization, as jarring as it is, isn't negative. In fact, it's one of the most remarkable aspects of parenthood I've encountered. Each shift brings something new, different, and unexpected, constantly reshaping our daily lives.

Recently, Kristine bought Luna a new set of toys: Tiny plastic barns, each with a little roof, containing a small animal. Luna noticed them immediately, gasped with excitement, and we opened them together. She explored each barn briefly before moving on, her curiosity momentarily satisfied.

Hours later, as Kristine put Luna to bed, I performed the task of cleaning up her toys. As I put each little animal back into each little barn, I thought about how annoying the toys were — requiring a decent amount of work to reset them back to the way they were.

These weren't magnetic tiles that stuck to one another, or cubes that could be flung into a chest. They all took up their own space, had their own animal, and required me to patiently put them all back together, one at a time.

The next morning, Luna's gasp of delight upon seeing the reassembled farms made the tedium worth it. 'Help me?' she asked, her little hands already busy opening each barn. I added a new ritual to the nightly cleanup, finding the animals, the houses, the roofs, and putting them all back together.

The joy made the tedium worth it, and I added a new ritual to the nightly cleanup, finding the animals, the houses, the roofs, and putting them all back together.

That was two weeks ago. Now, the barns are mostly forgotten. Luna has moved on to toys that interact. She has a little book that makes sounds and says words aloud, and a box that makes music when she places toys on top. She's making up her own games and making trains propel themselves across the living room floor while yelling "choo choo" as loud as she can.

This is the bittersweet reality of parenthood: each stage, each new skill learned, is simultaneously eternal and ephemeral. In the moment, it feels like it will last forever. The things she does feel so important and so sacred that it's hard to imagine them no longer being a part of her. But then, almost in the blink of an eye, they're gone.

So I stay in the present, and I enjoy these moments, and I do my best to hold them tightly.

I’ll return to my regular schedule next week, and come back with a list of the books I've read since I last wrote.

That’s all for now.

From the present moment.

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