“The only way to make sense out of change is to
plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
~ Alan Watts,
Author of The Way of Zen
Raising young children brings with it the widest spectrum of experience and emotion. There are the highs and sweet joys. Then there are the challenges, riding on the heels of some of the most poignant moments of connection and love. I often felt the motherhood journey was akin to a marathon, with the endurance test feeling never-ending at times. Just when I thought I’d crossed a hurdle, mastered a lesson, or entered the realm of sleeping through the night again, I was thrown a curve ball. Instead of catching it head on, I often tried to duck the ball with an internal dialogue of “no…really…this can’t be happening again!” Chris and I made a habit of laughing as we imitated being stuck in a boxing ring with punches thrown. Like a comedy of errors we flung through our days, pans clanking, dishwasher running, laundry resembling a mountain, hours spent tending what needed tending.
The juggling was mind-boggling. I remember one summer day when I was carrying the stroller down the stairs from our apartment. Rowan was a toddler and had missed a step. I somehow managed to catch him while he was falling head first, even while holding the stroller in my other arm. That same week there was the moment when the full grocery cart careened towards the car and off the curb, and I somehow grabbed it before it crashed and sent food flying. Each time I’d been trying to balance keeping a little one safe while also just going about the business of an ordinary day. These are truly small wonders, and I’ve seen so many other parents participating in their own small daily wonders as well.
A whole world of appreciation has opened now that I am on the motherhood journey. How did I never notice it before? I’ve taken to marveling that any parent can somehow hobble through a day with any degree of sanity, patience and grace with young children in tow. The other balls to juggle don’t stop flying at us either, and meanwhile we have to be sure our children aren’t running into the street or flinging all the boxes of cereal bars off the shelves. When caring for another human being, life simply becomes a more defined mélange of joys and hardships, the peaks and valleys of a day so unpredictable that I am forever alert and on my toes.
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