Thursday, December 2, 2010

finding balance

* Mr. G got called out in karate class for his excellent spin side kicks and all-around awesome effort. He is the youngest and smallest in his class. His instructors made a point of telling me what a great job he's doing.

* Mr. G burst into tears last night while I tucked him in--a buddy at school is having a birthday party and he wasn't invited. What do you say? "I'm sorry. It feels bad not to be included." And hug him and let him cry. No fixing those situations.

* Mr. T's renewed his efforts at school, applying himself and keeping focused.

* But he's still feeling like he doesn't fit in--he hasn't really made any friends and he's struggling. I cannot fix this either--I can only make home a sanctuary for him, where he can be himself and feel good about who he is. Add to this his frustration about his dyslexia and his epilepsy and my heart breaks while I try to shepherd him through this early stage of adolescence.

* Mr. B is a fierce little karate student--his bo staff form last night looked incredible. He's doing great in school and has scads of friends.

* But he gets down on himself so easily when he makes a mistake. You learn from mistakes, I tell him, that's how you grow. I have to help him lighten up a little, I don't want him becoming too much a perfectionist.

* Team Testosterone's Christmas lists are a mix of reasonable (new games) and ridiculous (remote controlled toys--they've gotten these in the past and never ever play with them). I want them to believe in the magic of Christmas, but Santa isn't going to bring a bunch of stuff that will end up donated to the thrift store by summertime.

* I love the new bo staff form we're learning in karate. It's like a jigsaw puzzle--I keep going through it in my mind, figuring out the patterns, the moves, the order. I've gone to class 2 times this week and Mr. O said we'd learn the rest of it tonight. I really don't need to be gone another night this week, but I'm dying to learn the rest of the form.

* Our calendar has filled up so fast this month. We've got a lot of choices to make--collectively--about how to spend our time this Christmas. There's mandatory things (school concerts) and extra things (going to see the lights at the botanical gardens). I need to pace our commitments and our pleasure.

* There is no balance to be found in a dog. They are utterly useless and expensive. Sure, Mr. D argues they provide "love and affection" but our cat killed mice and kept the pests at bay. This dog-creature has only managed to cost a ton of money and time and chew up stuff in the basement. Case in point: I took the dog to get groomed yesterday. He smelled terrible. Just awful. Now he smells nice, but at a price and I had to drive him to and from the groomer's. The cat? She self-cleaned for free. I'm still not totally sold on the idea of having a dog, as you can tell.

* I'm sick and tired of all the phone calls and mailings and other requests for my charitable dollars. I feel sponged dry. Naturally, that's exactly when God expects us to ante up and be generous. I'm swallowing my frustration like a dry crust of bread and writing my annual check to the Salvation Army, hoping that through His grace, my family's resources end up where they're most needed.

Yin-yang, ebb-flow. Sometimes the best balance is sitting still, striking the right yoga pose and focusing on a fixed point on the wall.

One reason I enjoy visiting Na-Da Farm Life is the peace and tranquility of Anne Marie's life. I'm sure she has to juggle things with all her kids and the farm chores, but she finds moments of calm to settle her spirit. Her site provides a respite. And I'm providing you a chance to win November's FABULOUS--winner's choice from the NaDa Farm shop. A little piece of homemade simplicity for you from Anne Marie's skillful hands. Each comment is a chance to win, I'll pick a winner on Saturday.

Spill it, reader. What's keeping you balanced this week?


  1. Well - I don't feel very balanced (yet) this week, but I'm getting there. I've been spending some time at rehab with Ron, working on some Christmas cards and journals, and relaxing in front of the TV. That's really a total switch for me. I do need to do some laundry or there might be a few issues by the weekend. Like no clean clothes...

  2. Balance is so tricky!
    I made the boys a service filled advent calendar...and what are we doing today?...heading to a friend's whose little guy has chicken pox. Kind of a backhanded act of service--bringing treats and a movie to a sick kid in hopes of getting the kiddos infected! (That would clear the old calendar pretty quick!)

  3. I'm feeling pretty balanced this week, but not sure what's keeping me balanced. Its like you just know it when things aren't balanced. Something is tipping that scale and something has to give.

  4. Well, today it would be that there was at least one kid in each period of remedial Earth Science who made up for the 20 others who really couldn't give a d*mn.

  5. It's been tough staying balanced this week. The one thing that keeps me calm right now is focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel and hoping it's not an oncoming train.

  6. Oh, I just want to hug Mr. G. and Mr. T. Being a kid is really tough.

    And I know what you mean about swallowing the dry crust of bread when asked for donations when there's nothing left.

    I'm not feeling very balanced this week. I feel rushed as heck and like I'm making no progress.

    Hope you and your boys feel better soon.

  7. I luff my cats. Low maintenance, lotsa love.

    I'm doing some homemade things and scaling back for Christmas...

  8. I'm sorry that each of your boys is having some difficulties. I hope they'll all find what they need soon.

    I'm staying balanced by making lists and staying organized. I'm also making a point to exercise every day and try to eat healthy meals.

  9. Sleep. Sleep is good for balance.

    The Boy was tested at Learning Rx and they say he's fine. Well the tester says he's fine. I'm sure next week when they officially present me with the results, they'll find something they can charge me to fix. ;)

  10. I think it's great that you and your boys share a love of karate (or whatever specific martial arts you're practicing...) Very cool.

    Balance...hmmm...I'd say trying to get my boys to pay more attention to detail and take their responsibilities seriously while still letting them be little boys.

  11. Balance... in the midst of bills coming due, parents with health problems I can do nothing about, and trying to keep us healthy I am watching that youtube video of the flash mob in the food court singing the Hallelujia chorus, because it reminds me of true Christmas spirit, and I am making paper snowflakes because it feeds my creative needs and they are pretty

  12. But he's still feeling like he doesn't fit in--he hasn't really made any friends and he's struggling. I cannot fix this either--I can only make home a sanctuary for him, where he can be himself and feel good about who he is.

    Okay, your son and my middle son sound so similar. Different underlying issues, but the fitting in part, and struggling, eh. It gets so tiring.

    Balance? I'm still trying to find it. Mostly it involves being *intentional* with our time and energy.

    And the remote controlled toys? I am SO with you there.

  13. It is hard to find balance this time of year. Well, any time of year really. It's hard.

    They say having a dog is better than having a home security alarm. They are good protectors. And they actually keep rodents at bay as well, you just don't find the dead rodents in your bathtub or basement. ;)

    Yay for your boys' accomplishments, and I'm so sorry for their heartbreak. You are right to just listen and love. That is the best medicine.

    I hear ya on the Christmas toys. My boys are asking for some crazy stuff that I know they won't play with too. Luckily, Santa is reasonable and will get them toys they will love AND will play with. ;)

  14. Every mama is only as happy as her unhappiest child.


Spill it, reader.