a rock and a hard place

15 Nov
“I think you are in a hard place…”
I guess I just don’t think of what I do every day as hard.  I will admit that it’s busy and hectic and trying and frustrating and complicated, but it really feels like fun to me.  There are some moments that aren’t fun.  When nobody will go to bed; when Wade (yes – sweet Wade!) rolls his eyes; when a dog has destroyed something; when the children and I have to be at multiple places at the same time; when Henry decides to throw his weight around and see what he can make us do for him; or Anna freaks out because (take your pick):
a) they are laughing at me
b) I can’t find my hairbrush
c) where is my red folder?
d) nobody will play with me
e) we didn’t do my narration homework and I will have to miss recess.
My dad responded to my last post that addressed the busy-ness by saying that it is strenuous, but absolutely worthwhile.
I chose this life.  I love it.  They run in the house, I yell, they spill, I clean, they whine, I write, they read, I run, we cook, the baby says the blessing, we eat, I pick up, I bark orders, they pick up, we drive to school, we drive to practice, we drive home, we drive to Target, we feed dogs, we walk dogs, we hang up our clothes, we listen to the Annie Get Your Gun and Wicked soundtracks, we sing along to them, and Henry dances.
Around here I try to keep everybody’s expectations low (theirs and mine).  Expecting gruel and receiving a pop-tart results in a gleeful chorus of “you’re the best mom ever!  THANK YOU!!!”  Expecting an eclair and receiving a piece of dry wheat toast can cause a huge, full-blown temper tantrum.  Which set of expectations do I strive to cultivate?  Ask Rachel.
My friend who told me that my life is hard runs marathons.  Now I think that is a lot harder than my little life.  I cannot imagine running 26 miles.  I can’t imagine running 5.  My dad says that of course you can run a few miles if you will just slow down enough so that you keep breathing.  He claims that anyone (even I?) can do that.  I just don’t really believe it.  Maybe if I were dropped off in the wilderness 26.2 miles from home and I didn’t have any other options?  I would just hope that I was wearing a running skirt and good shoes and an ipod.  Because then I would probably surprise myself as to what I am capable of.  I know I would have to stop and walk, and it would probably take days, but I could eventually get home using my own feet for transportation.  Especially if I knew that my children were counting on me to be there.
If my life is like the ballet (not about being comfortable), then perhaps it’s also like the (involuntary) marathon – anyone can do it if your expectations are low enough.  I would just resolve to go slowly and not expect to win a medal.  And be willing to stop and rest.  And  have some dear ones cheering you on (and, oh, I do!).  But I would definitely want to have some good shoes. 

2 Responses to “a rock and a hard place”

  1. Esmer November 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    It’s all about the shoes!!

  2. brightenthecorner November 18, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    I knew that you would understand, Esmer.

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