I struggle with balance. In all the ways possible.
One week I’ll run every day, even in rainy windstorms that encourages juice from my bangs to flow directly into my stinging corneas, then the next week I’m like, it’s 11pm? TIME FOR 17 LINDT BALLS.
One weekend I’ll peck out three Blog Posts and noisily shunt my chair back from the table, kick my legs up and light up a stogie, merrily blowing Hemingway puffs up into the pocorn’d ceiling. The next weekend I’ll have a Netflix’d iPad reflective burn on my face, and wail in the shower about never having a story to tell again.
Perhaps this is because I have always struggled with the actual physical act of balance. I believe when I was born a cute little hobo parasite set up home in one eardrum and just never left.
When I was four, the perfect age for my parents to sausage me into a skin coloured leotard and enroll me into Gymnastics 101, my lack of balance was made abundantly clear.
I needed 16 aides to hold every part of my body as I turtle-traversed a beam the width of a sidewalk. (The real one, the width of a bread loaf, was whisked away when I had troubles even hoisting myself up onto it without flipping off over the back side of it like a small human barrel of rotten turnips.)
I tried all the “fun” stations set up in that cold gymnasium. When I reached the set of rings which I was supposed to hang off of and perhaps even somersault myself around then dismount with a head snap and aplomb, I did the 4 year old version of “fuck this” and strode calmly and firmly to my parent’s car in the parking lot.
The engine was still running.
They knew deep down.
I never went back.
As an adult I continue to poorly balance all the roles I signed up for.
A woman close to 40 that loves salted caramel but doesn’t want to ooze out of her clothes.
A wife that wants to exudes the same energy and joie de vivre that I once wore like a perfume back in 2002.
A writer with no time to write.
A Mom that works full-time and wants time spent with her daughter to be memorable, positive and valuable.
A daughter, friend and sister who is always there, for a meal, drink or appropriate emoji text response.
Some days I feel like I have a scootch more than a tenuous grip on all of the above. Most days, you know days where I lose my balance standing still just thinking about cheese, I feel like a disaster.
Every morning when I drop Stella off at daycare, a magical land of patience, organic food and endless toys overseen by one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met, she pulls this move that makes me want to fling her into the bushes and flee to Tijuana.
As I’m crouching down for a multi-purpose move of removing her shoes, coat and saying a fond farewell, she monkeys onto me with every morsel of her 45 pound frame. Unless I am right beside the door frame to steady myself I immediately get panicky flashbacks as my body flails to stay planted on two feet instead of flopping back hard onto the porch floor, my butt crack popping out from my belted waistband, my tailbone flattened like an orange under a farm tire.
Even though she does it every morning without fail, I still manage to be caught off guard and transform from a cool working Mom in my necklace and mascara and ankle boots into that unsteady, sweating 4 year old with no confidence or awareness of which way is up.
My face flushes, I grimace into her hysterically happy face and I struggle to regain my composure, get to my feet and unpeel her from me like a second skin. From the outside it looks like a passionate and loving goodbye. Inwardly I am an embarrassed and unreasonably upset used car lot blow-up man, trying to regain my cool and footing while all my limbs are flying in opposite directions.
I always recover and escape, blow kisses and salutations over my shoulder. When I adjust myself in the car I tend to look at myself in the rear-view mirror. Soft squinty eyes. Hasty ponytail. Tired.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll be ready for when she becomes my human sweater. Until then, I’ve got some 1994 punk rock to crank while I drive to my sedate office job.
If I get pulled over and am forced to walk a straight line to prove my sobriety, I will 100% be tossed into the drunk tank. If one of you could please direct the RCMP to this Blog post, I’d really, really appreciate it.
(This post originally ran on missteenussr)