We hear all our lives about balance. As a child, you balance on a bike, you balance on the curb. Your mom tries to get you to eat a balanced diet (does cookies and fruit count? Flour, eggs, fruit, um, other stuff.. Could that be why I've been feeling sluggish?).
When we grow up, it's balance God, work, family, alone time. Sometimes instead of balancing, it feels like you're spinning plates on top of broomstick poles. And you have to keep running from one to another, and sooner or later, they all come crashing down around you anyway. I don't think that's balance, but it sure feels familiar!
We've been trying to find our new normal, our new balance here for a while. And quite frankly, Aaron weighs very heavy on one side of the scale. But the other kids also have needs, as does my husband, and extended family, and, and, and... And somewhere, I also have to find a way to fill my bucket. 'Cause an empty bucket ain't gonna fill no one else's.
But it's funny. It's not until I stop to think about it that I realize what's happening. (Maybe I need to stop a little more often.) Here's what I've realized. I'm not alone on the other side of the scale. I've got a lot of help, both temporally and spiritually. And often, that help comes directly from some of the sources with the needs.
On Thursday night, Matthew (sophomore) was stressing about an in-class paper he was going to be writing on Friday. I should have been able to help. After all, my degree is in English. But I was busy working on something else in the kitchen, probably Aaron's food or dishes or something. And then I heard his brother step in.
Jonathan took that same class (as did the three older than him). He knows the teachers, the material, and what's needed. It warmed my heart to listen to the two of them discuss it. And quite frankly, he did a much better job of explaining and giving examples that I could have. I loved that he took the time from his very busy schedule of homework and dance and preparations to help his younger brother.
And that's when I realized, once again, how much everyone kicks in to keep our family going. William holds down the fort when I'm at the hospital. Deborah was definitely my right-hand man (woman?) until she moved out. Jonathan spends a lot of time driving his younger brothers around and helping out with homework explanations. Matthew and Joseph have jumped in with helping keep things clean around here. Even Andrew and Michael have taken a real interest in the kitchen. Let me tell you, Andrew (10) can whip up some really great eggs!
And Aaron and Mary and David keep reminding us what life is really all about. It's about our Father's love for us. It's about the Atonement and the redeeming love of Christ. Mary and David are giving up a significant part of their lives to try to tell others about this love, about eternal families. And Aaron, well, he's brought that love right into our home. How blessed we are.
And so while it may take me a week to get to the laundry, and then most of the day to climb Mount Washmore (thanks, Sweetheart for taking care of the socks, my least favorite part!), and meals are sometimes last minute creations, it's okay. We may teeter back and forth a little on this balance thing, but we haven't fallen. At least not much. And when we do, we'll get back up and try again. We are here to succeed. And we will.