"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Thursday, October 4, 2012


This week ... and last ... and probably some of the week before (but that far is all a blur) ... I've been reminded of an analogy I read comparing the balance of life to an airplane in flight.

The pilot is constantly tilting the plane according to the air stream. Sometimes the plane tilts a little left and he corrects to lean right, sometimes the opposite. Always gently to and fro to bring the plane into balance throughout the flight pattern from point A to point B, yet never completely achieving static balance for more than mere seconds.

I've been tilting.

Back and forth.

Trying to balance if only for those precious seconds.

This phase I'm in, has teens and toddlers and babies all at once. And boy, are their needs ever different. And if there ever is a small moment of space, I have to pick and choose. Will I write, or edit/file pictures, or step on the treadmill, or finish painting the kitchen, or better our meal plan, or actually get to bed at a decent time or just continue to sit and hold a contented sleeping baby.

One usually wins out.

And I feel the tilt.

Ever knowing, soon I'll need to correct.

Last night ... full turbulence.

I took my older scout to a job sight to take pictures of his upcoming Eagle project. Kids ran everywhere having a grand ole time and all the while, my potty trainee hid to foil my efforts. I hadn't prepared for that need.

Pants-less at our next stop, we sat in the car through cub scouts and I fed a fussy baby while waiting until we could head home to our later than usual bedtime routine.

My enthusiastically new cub scout hopped in my car with a zip lock baggie full of scouting awards ... and a mother's pin ... jogging my memory that I'd just sat in the car through his very first pack meeting.

And I felt the cabin drop out from underneath me with a sickening stomach jolt.

Later in the quiet of having put youngers to bed, my olders came through the door and sat on my counter tops to observe my dish doing and relate their evening's activities. I was distracted with thoughts of mothers who never seem to forget the important stuff with self loathing berate-ment. They sensed it and I confided in them my troubles.

"Heck mom ... remember that time in kindergarten when I waited all afternoon on the sidewalk outside of the school for you to show up for the Thanksgiving lunch and you never did?"

"How about the time you chased down the school Halloween parade with our costumes in hand and we were the only kids marching without?"

"Then there was that field day ... "

They're good for a boost when you need one, I tell ya, and the ball rolled turning to laughter over all of the scarring I'd caused over time.

"He'll live, Mom, we all have, and a little disappointment is good for the soul. It teaches us self reliance and appreciation that you listen and talk with us. You can't do it all."

With smiles on their faces and a little companionable elbowing, their hugs goodnight told me they knew I was trying.  That maybe I'd really been there with oxygen masks and floatation devices for some other, more important stuff. And I felt the turbulence mellow as the relationships around me lifted my plane a little higher out of the bouncing jolt.

Because balance is a never ending journey.

And today I'll continue tilting. Left to right, and right to left.

*** I'm starving for the inspiration, enlightenment and balance that this weekend will bring.

Even if you are not of our faith, with just a casual interest in what the Latter-Day Saint (mormon) church believes, listening to part, or all, of this conference is a great way to find out.


  1. If it makes you feel better, as the oldest of 6 there were plenty of things that I only had one (or zero!) parents at. I was just fine. ;) I also spent a whole HECK of a lot of time waiting around in different places for my mom to come pick me up, since she always had plenty of other kids to wrestle! I think those are things that you come to expect in a big family, and it becomes not such a big deal. Plus, you get all those great siblings to make up for it! ;)

  2. I'm just so glad that I could provide CL with plenty of life experiences to use to reassure you!!! ;)

  3. Oh Marlowe. That was beautifully written. Your paragraph about all the things tugging at you to come next is so my life....my brain. I get it. I truly do. God bless those teenagers of yours for reminding you that you haven't screwed any of them up yet and giving you permission to be human. We will survive this flight. A bit of turbulence along the way will just make you appreciate the other smooth flights coming our way.