Balancing Acts of All Sorts

The week starts and if I have something to do, I’m focused. If I am on the chase to tie up loose ends, after a busy weekend I often feel completely frazzled.

Am I alone in this or is it a Monday-ish thing?

I noticed that two nights of relatively decent sleep left me rather exhausted. I think the deep meaning beneath this is that I need more sleep. I know I am not alone in this.

A low point this weekend became kind of an okay point: the small and I’ll be honest sometimes bratty to her next biggest brother girl kicked at him and this made the granola and milk slosh out of the bowl. He was mad. I was mad. It was a mess I had to clean up while I was in the midst of the dishes, which is of course another mess I cleaned up. He had to clean himself up, get new clothes, separate from his beloved blue fleece and feel cheated of his granola and milk. In a sharp—really, truly sharp, stern voice—I told her to go upstairs and wait for me. She burst into tears but she went.

People, she went upstairs and ten minutes later (because I cleaned up granola and milk and finished the dishes) I found her in her room, seated on her giant stuffed gorilla Harry with Llama clutched in her arms. She had some music on the CD player. She wore a pretty upset expression, so sad, on her face. I took her into my lap, and while I comforted her, I also told her that such bratty behavior to her brother was a problem—for her, because she’s five and she doesn’t have to reach out to him to pester him when what she really wants is to play with him.

We snuggled a bunch over the next hour or so.

On she went.

I’m more of a mush mom than a toughie. But I am committed to a little more firmness going forth.

Three things I feel grateful for this week: one is the happy arrival of my new nephew Leo (don’t you love the name; Ezekiel and I lobbied for it, so we are practically clucking over it). He’s had a bit of a rocky start but he’s strong and I can’t wait to meet him next week. He is really, truly just fine. So, two, I am grateful for wonderful hospitals. Three, and unrelated, I’m grateful to the Y. Saskia spent about an hour at the open gym on Sunday. She not only walked across the high beam; at the end of the way across, she ran and leapt off, but finished with a nice safety stop. She did so again and again. She flipped on bars, jumped and turned cartwheels. She told me, “I’m sweaty,” about three-quarters of the way through the hour. This little girl needs her some physical exhaustion. Thank goodness it’s so easy to obtain right around the corner.

Of course, on Friday, she got it when the teenagers had her run around our next-door neighbor’s driveway circle 20 times.

It being Tuesday, and me having let you down last week, let me link you to a Modern Love essay about happy endings of the unexpected sort—and the power of friendship, which I found a totally engaging read.

In less than two weeks, I plan to bowl in support of abortion access. How does that work? Readers of this blog know that I virtually bowled on behalf of abortion access—it’s the National Network of Abortion Funds’ fourth annual event, virtual and real—before, and I’ve done the virtual one and the team real-life bowling event (last year). This year, I will bowl for No Wire Hangers. And when I ask you again before our April 21st bowl, I’ll tell you where I met—in real life—one of my team members for the first time this past weekend—or feel free to guess in the comments. I hope you’ll support my team! And more so, I hope you’ll support the amazing work NNAF does to ensure women access to reproductive health care.

If you need a laugh, this tumblr called Reasons My Son Crying is your click of the day. For me, the whole thing validated every crying tot photo I’ve ever taken—and I have taken my share.

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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