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  • Writer's pictureDrSwae

The Delicate Nature of Balance- written 2020

In some cultures, these next few days are among the most holy of the year. Which is good, because on Friday I was sure we would need the mighty powers of the cosmos to get ourselves back on our feet.

It started out well enough.

We had a fairly pleasant morning walk and the weather held out until we got to our hill. We even saw blue sky for a little bit.

But by the time we got around the bend, things were starting to unravel. When we got back home, conditions had become downright rough. We should have known it was coming as soon as one of the boys started looking like a storm cloud himself.

At first I couldn't figure out why it happened. It seemed to come out of the blue. They had eaten a good breakfast. No one was contending with a belly ache or headache. They had gone to bed relatively on time. (Don't judge me here I said relatively).

And then I realized.

On Fridays the kids don't have much in terms of main lesson except to work on ongoing projects that don't have immediate, pressing deadlines. This means the boys have more time on their hands. Time, believe it or not, is not always a good thing.

Sure, it is nice when you can lounge and eat these all day.

But when the "wintery mix" returns in April, well after it has worn its welcome, and our outings aren't as frequent, we seem to need tasks. To think I used to complain about the risk of over scheduling them!

To make matters worse, the kids are so much more interested in planting beans than in eating them right now. They are so tired of beans and ready for Spring. When they see me heading for the pantry around dinnertime, you can actually see the wind collapse from their sails. I never thought they'd grow tired of veggie tacos. Right now the whole world is upside down.

Balance is precarious.

We had to be resourceful. So in my endless wisdom, I thought I'd tire them out. (Aren't they just like puppies that need to work off that energy so they can sleep?) Spoiler alert: temper tantrums followed.

I looked for everything I could to get some energy out of those little guys. We tried to be as quiet as a three ring circus possibly can be since Scott was trying to get some rest before his night shift.

We drew picture after picture. (Who needs a copy machine?)

We tried our luck at "Pom Pom Chicks".

But the boys lost interest when they learned that their chicks would be green. I said maybe they were just grass stained? But they weren't buying it.

We made hummus. Yum! And the baby was so excited because he loves appliances. They all go "vroom".

We dressed up in our costumes.

We played with our light sabers.

We read story after story.

And after a few dozen meltdowns and wrestling matches, in the end they were pretty tired out.


At bedtime, I talked to the boys about how this is a unique time in our lives. We talked about uncertainty with school and work and seeing our friends. I did my best to bring it to a level where they could understand and not be scared. We talked about how leaning into uncertainty can be like an adventure. Sure it may make us feel a little uneasy at times, but we still want to keep going because of all that new experiences bring to our lives. We are stronger and wiser after them.

Scott and I sometimes wonder how much we should talk about the circumstances with them. But then we hear them talk about it with each other, and even incorporate it into their imaginative play. Yesterday they were going on a plane to their secret city and the airport was very busy because no one is sick there.

The emperor has no clothes.

So finding the right balance for us means speaking about this new way of doing things calmly, without fear in our voices or too much heaviness in our hearts, though there it lives. The kids don't have to learn it all today.

In that way, I suppose it's kind of like their school work.

As we go into a big weekend, one that in years past has been full of traditions like egg hunts and Spring baskets and celebratory family gatherings, things will be noticeably different. Unsettled even, like our Northeast April weather.

But we can still celebrate and find joy in possibility. We can find magic.

I took a picture of this rabbit foot fern back in the Fall, growing well, no credit to me. Tonight those fuzzy little bunny feet are looking like the perfect place to hide some eggs. I hear the Easter bunny is an essential worker.

Be well everyone.

Night night. xo, Dr. Swae


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