For the better part of the last week, I’ve been singing David Bowie’s “Changes” in my head (mostly with the wrong words, but the tune has been right). Just like the movies with their soundtracks, many of my life experiences are marked by the songs that accompanied them.
I look back on my high school job (“Shout” by Tears for Fears), freshman year of college (“Little bit of snow” by Howard Jones, “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, and various others that are slightly embarrassing), childhood (all things Billy Joel, AC/DC and The Beach Boys – a little eclectic) and now (lots of U2, Coldplay, more Zeppelin and, of course, the theme from Elmo’s World). The point is that most of my “life moments” have a song attached.
So, why Bowie’s “Changes?” Because G went back to work this week. “Turn and face the strain,” indeed. What strain, exactly? Well, there’s living in the Bay Area. There’s the need to reignite creativity and, of course, there’s a need to have adult conversations that aren’t only about children. And, that’s just for starters.
I know this isn’t so much MY life moment as it is hers, but it’s a huge change for our little family. I’ll now be the “drop off” and “pick up” guy at school. I’ll be the one preparing breakfast and dinner for K-Man on most days. I’ll become (more or less) the primary caregiver during the week.
It’s not going to be easy: Not on G, not on K-Man and not on me. After two-and-a-half years as a not-quite stay-at-home-but-close-enough mom, diving into the deep end of the work pool by going back full time (and to a monster, high-powered ad agency, no less), the shock of not being able to see K-Man all the time is rough.
On the other hand, with parenting comes something of a “Groundhog Day Syndrome.” We sometimes find ourselves locked into routines and it’s good (for everyone) when those routines are shaken up a bit. No, I’m not that excited about walking the dog at 5:30 instead of 7:00 (as I need to be home, showered and ready when K-Man wakes up), but with the early start comes sunrise. And, living in the Bay Area, sunrise is an especially beautiful thing.
Change brings about new sites, new sounds and new opportunities. It’s the ultimate antidote to the “Groundhog Day Syndrome.” It allows us to look at the same situation (e.g., walking the dog) with new eyes. After just a few days of trying to get K-Man out of the house, I have a completely different perspective on how difficult it is. (Whereas, I used to think, “How hard can it be to get a kid dressed?”) So, if/when G cuts back on her hours and takes back some of the get ready, drop off and pick up responsibilities – I’ll now know the challenges.
Change can indeed be scary. But, like Bowie said:
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
In other words: It is what it is. Frankly, love the changes…