Thursday, June 9, 2011


standing at the fridge.
Alice isn't walking yet, but she's getting so close. She'll cruise along until she gets to the end of the line. She'll see something that she wants to go to, just out of her reach. Her body almost continues moves forward but it seems like her brain is holding her back. I tell her, "You can do it!," because I know she can. But she doesn't understand those words.

She has just started to stand unsupported. Sometimes without thinking about it, sometimes very deliberately, because she wants to hold a toy in each hand. I stand her at the edge of the tub while I fill it and line her toys along the side. She'll clutch a toy in her right hand, her left hand on the tub for balance. She widens her stance and plants her feet, bends her knees and bounces to test her form, and then lifts her hand from the tub to grab her toy. She does this at the fridge, too, playing with magnets. She'll clap her toys together and wave them around without wavering, forgetting for a moment that nothing is holding her upright except her own legs and her own balance.

I know that she has the strength and the coordination to stand, and to walk, on her own if she wanted to. I'm sure if she were around other kids, or older kids more, she would have figured it out by now (or not, who knows?). I want to teach her to balance, and then to let go; to trust her body and her instincts. But this cannot be taught - not now, and not later. It comes only from within and from experience.

For the first time in a long while (ever?), I'm feeling balanced. I am eating well, I am exercising, I am feeling inspired and am finding a little time and opportunity to indulge my creativity. I don't feel like I need as much sleep as I once did, or as much time to mentally recover from too much fun or too much stress. I feel energized, ambitious, optimistic.

I've think I've always had a fairly delicate internal system of weights and balances, and it's taken me years to learn how listen to my body and my mind and my heart to know what I need to be happy and healthy. I'm finally starting to feel like I have a handle on all the pieces of my life and can finesse the balance of these weights without any one demanding all of my attention and energy. I've either found my groove or the groove found me. Maybe I've just become accustomed to the constant marathon of parenthood and adjusted accordingly. I would have never dreamed that parenthood would be what balanced me.

I certainly have room to make improvements in every area of my life but I don't feel like I need to overhaul my whole life in order to make those improvements. Or even just to function. I'm going to do a little goal-setting, a little mind-mapping, and keep working on accomplishing everything I want and dream of, without upsetting the balance I've achieved.

I want to teach Alice to listen to her heart and figure out what she needs to be happy, and then how to work toward that happiness. I want to teach her first to dream, and then to chase her dreams. She'll need to learn to walk before she can run. But first, she needs to find her balance.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I love this metaphor. Mother and daughter finding their balance together. We all have to learn to let go and trust both ourselves and the laws of the universe. So cool to see Alice figuring that out for the first time. She'll have many more such lessons to come, I'm sure.


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