Friday, April 19, 2013

Finding Balance Part Two

In last week’s blog, I wrote about balance and pointed out Middlest’s enormous amount of homework during the week of break, all while they were watching movies during class time. Nature is designed to operate in balance; balance will happen.

One of my dad’s favorite phrases was, “Now the pendulum is swinging the other way.” He used this to illustrate how one group of people on one side of the center would hold power, until the power shifted to another group of people on the other side of the center. Even as a child, thinking concretely about this large pendulum swinging back and forth, I would think, “Why don’t we just stop the pendulum from swinging and stay right dead center?”

Staying right dead center will never work. Firstly, it will not work because it is boring. As people we crave stimulation. We thrive on new experiences. We demand difference. And so we are back to that pendulum swinging back and forth, or to the large playground teeter-totter trying to find balance.

Secondly, it will not work because different times and different situations require different approaches. Which brings us back to balance.

My kids, with Eldest setting the example, have seemed to innately master this concept of balance. I was frustrated with Eldest during her senior year in High School when I would see her supposedly doing homework at the computer, yet the computer seemed to always be on Facebook, where she read what her friends were doing, or on Tumblr, where she would look at pictures of kittens with inane captions, or viewing Youtube videos of people singing about some furry guy who made clay pots.

Then I watched her closely, and she did indeed visit these sites, but she would space those visits out with working on homework. Doing research on Google, writing a paper, even reading a text book, before going off into the world of social media to see what her friends were doing. She easily recognized balancing calculus equations with giggling over pictures of grumpy felines with silly captions.

That is how each of the three girls do their homework. Which I cannot fathom. Excuse me for a moment while I go check Twitter.

Littlest understood balance from a very young age, especially balance in diet. Not a diet of all one thing, but enjoying the rich variety of foods in creation. She demonstrated this as a tiny thing helping to carry in groceries. She was bringing in two bags from the van. She was so small the bottoms of the bags were dragging on the ground, (one bag in each hand, and if I may add, she was adorable.) She looked up at me and with her amazing grin she announced, “Look dad! A balanced diet.”

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