I know when I'm off-center.
Like nothing is falling into a rhythm. Tasks pile up. Can't get ahead of the clock. Scattered energy. Going 50 different directions but really not getting anywhere. Slightly irritable. Mentally snowed-in.
We're still not in a routine. Last week, school didn't start until Tuesday. By Thursday, I was feeling a little more regimented. But then, Friday was a snow day.
The same day of the photograph...
I'm not sure I'll re-share that entire picture here. I'll decide by the end of the blog...
Basically, boy-child and girl-child were playing in the dusting of snow that shut-down our fair city. They repeatedly called me outside from making homemade waffles. I ignored, but then the screams turned guttural, and I figured I should head outside for fear the neighbors might call the authorities.
I walked outside to see what the fuss was about (took my phone, of course, in case there was a snowman or other snow-figure to document). Instead, I walked right into their little snowball operation. Slammed by a huge, freezing-cold snowball! Turns out, I unknowingly captured the tail end of my sweet little sneaky son coming at me in a photo.
We died laughing. I finished the waffles and bacon. We ate. Then I looked through my pictures. When I saw the photo of my boy with a snowball in-hand, it was so cute and so spontaneous, I posted it on social media, even though I don't post a whole lot of photos of my children (the reasons why could be another potential blog post). What I also noticed, in the background, my daredevil-daughter was standing on a trashcan gathering the puffy "good snowball" snow from on top of the car. Ready for battle.
I was ill-prepared for my own trashing upon posting this. Oh-boy, the "mom-of-the-year" comments started. Anywhere from jokes to the more serious private messages, "Miss Dawn, I'm sorry but something in that photo doesn't look very safe."
I took the picture down. (disclaimer: daughter was unscathed). And yes, I will be the first to admit, she shouldn't have been standing on the trash can. However, knowing her well, she is adventurous and a bit of a risk-taker at the ripe age of 8. When she sets her mind to something, she is a force to be reckoned with. As such, she is also slightly accident-prone. She was off the trash can within minutes. And mom-of-the-year, here, documented that questionable-parenting-moment for the social world to see.
Later, I got to thinking.. wait a minute! When I was a toddler (which was a very long time ago), I rode in the front middle seat of my mom's Chevy Nova STANDING UP. A few years after, I walked the neighborhood alone. Mom even left me at home every now and then by age 10 when she had to work late. Activities, which, in this day and age, are absolutely taboo.
And I get why. But where is the line drawn? From letting kids live a little vs. protecting them at all cost from anything that could potentially hurt them? It's a valid question. And I certainly don't have the answers. Parenting is a moment-by-moment moral and spiritual endeavor that is never-ending and incredibly personal. I like to believe, despite the horror stories I sometimes report, that most parents do the very best they can.
Still, I'm off-balance today. Not sure why I'm so snowy.
I know it will pass. Someone once said to me that life is a balance between holding on and letting go. True. Balance always wins.
It's a little like that being a parent. Holding tight, keeping them safe. Then letting them spread their wings and fly. What a privilege!
Oh, and here's that photo...