Fine Lines

Motherhood is a fine line.

I didn’t straddle it very well yesterday, so lunchtime with Ian devolved into a total meltdown. At the end, I walked upstairs, plopped Ian into his crib, handed him his blanket & pacifier. Right now, he is just sitting quietly in his crib, rubbing the blanket on his nose, fighting sleep.

As Ian still refuses most solid foods, mealtimes are a fine line between encouraging him to try new things and him becoming so frustrated that he never wants to taste a new food again. He flips from cautiously and skeptically putting a bite into his mouth to TOTAL MELTDOWN in mere seconds, at the drop of a hat. There is no recovering after that: only baby food will do, and sometimes, not even that.

Do I walk away, until on his own, he comes around? Do I acquiesce, content to try again tomorrow?

And what if really, all of this is simply because he’s teething, those one year old molars poking through, and it just actually hurts to bite down?

I never know.

At playtime, it is a fine line between teaching and discovery and simply enjoying.

On Monday mornings, there is a fine line between walking fully and confidently into a job I love and feeling guilty for not being home with my boy.

At day care drop-off, there is a fine line between trusting another woman to love my son well and declaring, “Nope. Hands off. This is my job. Give him back.”

As a child, I was always afraid to attempt the balance beam, and as an adult, I’ve always joked that I would fail a sobriety test without a drop of alcohol.

Walking fine lines is not my strong suite.

I’m learning to recognize that walking a fine line is not a matter of precision, but nuance. It isn’t about sticking to the line perfectly for fear of falling of the precipice on either side. It’s less like a tight rope and more like a dance. I need to take a deep breath, release the pressure, and just start moving my feet. I’m learning that it’s the small adjustments along the way, like breathing in and breathing out, that will carry me through.

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