Comparisons & Tuesday Three

It’s that moment in summer when the light shifts and September looms and I’m definitely feeling as if I’ve done more chasing of my writer’s tail and juggling of my kids (not literally) than relaxing. As if with four kids and a freelancer’s life there’d be so much downtime… but, anyway, my fantasy summer must have included a vacation that hasn’t materialized and a little escape-from-everyone time that also hasn’t materialized. On the much more compelling half-full side, I’ve enjoyed the work I’ve done and I made more jam last night—wild Maine blueberries gifted to me—and the youngest boy loved camp and actually everyone has done things they’ve loved and I went to one of those yoga classes last night that not only made me sweat but made me reflect.

An image this teacher uses to find length in the ribcage is of lifting up a small child. Later, she had us imagine the kind of strength in our legs during certain standing poses that someone could sit upon a leg (not literally). Along with so much else, sometimes parenting requires the strength to hold and to balance all that you hold. I know there’s a more articulate way to say this and I know I can’t quite do so yet, but perhaps you get the idea. I left class with a different resolve than I had before I took to the mat. I can articulate that—and I will return to the mat today.

Portrait of our friend Sam, 16, by Saskia

Mixed in with this clarity is the reminder to myself that one of the things parents—and other people—do is compare ourselves to others, or more specifically compare what we feel most vulnerable about in our parenting lives with what we imagine other people are completely acing. It’s really hard not to fall into projecting/comparing/longing for the thing that’s hard to become easy. The only answer is to focus upon what feels good and what feels challenging—savor the good, work with the challenge.

BLAH! Hard!

And so I give you three good things on a Tuesday. One is that it rocks to go to a yoga class and work hard on every level. Two is that wild Maine blueberries make this dark, secretive hued jam. Three is that helping to organize a PIE contest—see link, this is one of my three to share—is ultimately sweet, especially when proceeds benefit FoodStampsx2.

I loved this essay about kid-free time and writing—and fear of the big project.

Lastly, I want Perri Klass to be my pediatrician. She writes wisely about spoiling here.

A well-run whacking spree this weekend.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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