An object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest stays at rest. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

An object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest stays at rest. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Sarah Simpson Column: Newton’s first law of motion

I could have sworn I told them to help each other get unbuckled and to come inside.

Newton’s first law: An object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest stays at rest.

I was awful at math and physics growing up. Really bad. My brain just can’t compute the world in those terms. I was so bad at it that I gave up my dream of being a veterinarian because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get through the most basic of the math and physics courses. That meant chemistry too. I could handle biology but you needed them all. I didn’t dwell on it, I just turned my attention to my strengths and well, here we are.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about Sir Isaac Newton far more lately than I ever have before. I’ve never really been one to dream about the mathematicians and scientists of yesteryear but here I am doing just that. It’s because I’m pretty exhausted these days — not for any real reason but just in general. I am not unique in any way whatsoever so I’m not seeking your sympathy. In fact, I know you understand. If you’re human, you get tired. If you’re a mom you get even a little more tired than that.

It’s life.

Being mom-level tired lately got me to thinking about my kids, though.

Recently we’d run an early-morning errand and had arrived back home. My two children, aged six and five, were both buckled into their car seats in the back and had nothing but themselves to get into the house, or so I thought. I, on the other hand, had an armload of items to ferry from the car to the kitchen.

I turned to them and said very clearly: “Help each other get unbuckled, please, and then come inside,” before collecting my stuff and going in. Simple enough request, right?

I was able to get into the house, put my things away, make my son’s lunch for school and pack it into his school bag. Alone. No kids in sight.

I heard the neighbour, who works the night shift, return home and wondered if she was judging me for leaving my kids alone in the car. She likely didn’t even notice them thanks to science. An object at rest (kids) stays at rest. She probably didn’t see them sitting still in their seats.

Me on the other hand, well Newton said an object in motion stays in motion but I dared to defy him. I grabbed hold of my cup of coffee and sat down.

After a time, not long at all, my phone buzzed. It turns out the children had stowed the iPad in the back seat with them and had opened up the messaging app to text me. They aren’t quite at the age where they can quickly write sentences (though it won’t be long now) so I had several voice-messages in quick succession.

“Mom!”

“Mom, where are you?”

“Mom, can you get us out now?”

“Mom!”

I could have sworn I told them to help each other get unbuckled and to come inside.

But they’re kids. They were at rest and there was no external force (read: Mom) to get them moving once I left the vehicle, so they were stuck apparently.

“Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it,” said Newton.

Arg!

I went back out to the vehicle and there they were, still buckled in their seats, confused, waiting, and with decreasing patience.

I confiscated the iPad, released them from their binds and removed them ever-so-lovingly from the car.

Then I gave them a little bit of crap for breaking Newton’s first law. I was at rest and science says I should have been able to stay there.

Thanks Newton. Those two little external forces caused me to move!

They looked up at me, all innocent and cute and messy, with their perfectly smooth sun-protected skin and their big wide eyes; with their messy bed-head hair and the remnants of their breakfasts still in the corners of their mouths, because it’s not like they would take the initiative and wipe their own faces.

And then I remembered another Newton quote.

“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”

And perhaps this is why mothers are always so tired. They see that simplicity in their children and our love for that pureness prompts us to move.

And once in motion, well, we stay in motion.

Hang in their mommas. There’ll come a day when we stop. We will no doubt enjoy it for a time, but I suspect eventually we’ll wish we still had those little external forces urging us to move once again.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ColumnistComedy and Humour

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

North Cowichan has heated exchange over timelines of its official community plan review. (File photo)
North Cowichan’s OCP review divides council

Tight timelines leads to heated debate

Matt Ellison was a star with the Kerry Park Islanders before embarking on a pro career that included stops in the NHL and KHL. (Submitted)
Ex-NHLers to highlight Kerry Park-Peninsula alumni games

Matt Ellison and Kyle Greentree commit to suit up in August

Aaron Stone, chairman of the Island Coastal Economic Trust, said he’s encouraged with the province providing finding for local agencies to hire staff to help get back on economic track during the pandemic. (File photo)
$70K for Economic Development Cowichan for new analyst

Temporary position to help recover from pandemic

“He’ll be bowling for dollars — $30,000 to be exact. Matt Hancock, 15-years-old of Lake Cowichan won in the Coca-Cola B.C. championship finals and will now bowl in the international championship with a chance to win a $30,000 scholarship. Hancock will go to the international competition in Columbus July 10. He is coached by Karen Smith of Cowichan Lake and plays on the T.G.S. bowling team.” (Lake News/May 8, 1996)
Flashback: Taxes, school district amalgamation, logging licences and student news

A look back through the pages of Lake Cowichan’s history

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in Comox

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Top developments north of the Malahat honoured by Vancouver Island Real Estate Board

Nanaimo’s Village on Third takes top honour at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Most Read