I've always been one to balance several activities at once. In high school, I did Debate, Forensics, Theater, Orchestra, Choir, and Scholar's Bowl.* All in the same year. And once I graduated, I continued that lifestyle. I worked full time, took a full load of college classes, and participated in whatever struck my fancy. While I was student teaching, I took it easy, and balanced life as a newly-wed with all of the planning, teaching, and homework that goes with student teaching. Once that was over, I searched until I found the Festival, which immediately consumed every waking hour of my life. I had always been good at juggling, and Festival was no different.
When I was pregnant, I expected that adding a child to our crazy lives would add another 5-6 balls to the dozen or so I was already juggling - a difficult task, sure, but one that I would master in no time. I was confident that before long, I would be able to balance Miles with the rest of my life. To extend the metaphor, I imagined the cheers and applause as I seamlessly continued to juggle, no matter what life threw my way.
And then Miles was born.
Juggling ceased. I dropped every ball except for Miles, and still, I couldn't keep up. I could feel the balls pelting me in the head as one by one they came crashing down. And then PPA decided to toss in a few bowling balls, just for giggles. I huddled protectively over my baby, tried my best to pick up the pieces, and hid from everything else.
It took over 15 months, and some strong medications, to get rid of the bowling balls. Since then, I have slowly, slowly, started to pick up the balls, one by one, and begun to juggle yet again. The balance isn't perfect. And I drop the ball far more than I once did. But, I'm juggling. Slowly, and with much effort and help, but I'm juggling.
And this time, I am cheering myself on.
*Yes, I'm a nerd.