Here’s The Thing: Four years of change

I’m happy to say that for four years I’ve had the privilege of writing my silly column for you all! Thank you Peninsula Clarion! Once in a while a stranger introduces themselves and no matter how awkward I seem, there is only joy in my heart. It’s so awesome. My friends and family have been loyal supporters, which is greatly appreciated. Although, it usually takes my mom a few days until she finally reads my article. (Still making me earn your love!? I thought we were over this, woman!) I’ve always loved to write, so this has been a fun adventure.

For those of you that imagine I have a warm cup of coffee, staring out the window, counting my blessings while I write … that is very sweet. And also very wrong. That was me four years ago. I was home a lot more, changing diapers, and blogged almost every day.

Now, four years later, the juggle struggle has increased. I’m busy running around, keeping everyone on a schedule. Diapers are foreign, but yelling to aim better is not. Writing has turned from a peaceful process to the chaos of me scribbling down ideas and piecing them together like a patchwork doll. Praying it’s cohesive. And clever. But mostly cohesive.

The truth is, a lot has happened in four years. Physically, ugh. I could do the same workout video I did back then, but now it takes three times as long for me to see results. When I eat a patty melt, the next morning it takes residence on the jowls of my face. When I’m done playing for an hour with my kids outside, I look at the clock and it’s only been 10 minutes. But I’m so tired? I’ve still got energy, but it takes work now.

Maybe if I wrap my entire body in coffee grounds the caffeine will soak into my pores. Add that to go with the expensive lotion I smear on my washboard forehead.

Mentally, pretty sharp, but then the physical stuff sneaks back in. Let’s talk about the sunburn I have right now. As a teenager tanning salons were all the rage. I would go in, tell them I want 20 minutes in the tanning bed, lay in the bed thinking about my biggest problems (What will I order from the coffee shop? Life’s so difficult.) and waltz out with a ridiculous Hawaiian glow.

Recently I went tanning as a mommy treat and it was an entirely different experience. I held the tanning lotion right up to my nose and painstakingly read each ingredient making happy faces at natural seed extracts and frowning at anything I couldn’t pronounce. I truffle shuffled my way into an older tanning bed and after 8 minutes I’m done (like pizza rolls) and it dawns on me that it will take about 10 more sessions until I reach some form of “glow.” Congratulations, me.

Emotionally, my life has changed. My kids are older now. It’s like, I woke up and they were just older. Calming a baby and calming a pre-tween girl that got her feelings hurt are two completely different animals.

I’d say raising kids in general is crazy on the emotions. You can have the same job for years and know what you’re doing. Not for us. Have you seen a toddler? Excuse my honesty, but my favorite ages are 4 and up. Deal with it. Right when you think you know an age, they grow and switch up the entire game!

As a baby, my daughter didn’t mind Cheerios for dinner. Now she’s 9 years old and has opinions, like she needs a healthy meal. So I take the time to make a good dinner. If it’s good, I get the nod. If it’s bad, I brace myself for emotional abuse. If my daughter grows up to become a famous chef, her mother just might become the hardest person to impress. What goes around comes around, Sweetiepie. If all four people in my family ever actually agree on a meal that I made for them, I fully expect a saxophone player to jump out and play in jubilee.

Here’s the thing: Take a minute to think about where you were 4 years ago. Where you lived, where you worked, the relationships you have now. Socially, the hard work in my friendships have paid off. We’re like family now. Spiritually, well, that’s a full time, lifetime journey for us. We’re happy to be plugged in with amazing people that encourage us as we grow.

The Kenai Peninsula is a beautiful community. Raising kids here is a blessing. If writing a silly article once a month makes it even a smidge of a better place, than I am truly honored to be a part of that.

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at columnkasi@gmail.com.

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