For this author, creative endeavors have been sorely tested by motherhood. But also transformed, and in ways she wouldn’t have imagined – couldn’t have, without her life “rewritten” as it has been, by her children. So linger here, to read all things weaverly, writerly and motherly.


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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Juggling

"Look, Mom, I can juggle," Kenny says, standing in the kitchen while I'm making dinner.
He is tossing two balls in the air, and Ryan, whom I have forced to sit at the table to finish his homework says, "Thats not juggling. Not with two balls."

"It is so..." Kenny says, tossing the two balls higher. Old dead tennis balls.

Then he misses and they fall.

They roll towards Ryan, and he grabs them up. He tosses them, easily catching one then the other. "See? Anyone can do two balls. You need three."

"Shut up!" Kenny yells. He leaves the room, crying.

I look at Ryan. I only frown. Not up to this drama. Just want to get dinner on the table. I'd just gotten the boys picked up from after-school care, after the hour drive back from my mother's; after taking her to the heart doctor who confirmed that at 93, her heart is beating hard and strong. After an echocardiogram that showed good arterial blood flow , despite her obsessive fear that, at 93, at any minute, she might have a heart attack or stroke.

I'd sat in the room gazing at the black and white monitor as a young girl traced a doppler along the arteries in my mother's neck and in and around the black holes of her heart chambers. I used to watch with delight similar black and white images during ultrasounds with my two pregnancies.

This watching of and listening to the pumping of my own mother's blood had not been a delight. Nor had it been nerve-wracking – I did not know what I may have hoped or not hoped for. I was merely mesmerized; in a darkened room, sitting still.

After Kenny was born –the one no doubt pouting up in his room, hurt by his big brother who I knew felt just a bit bad, as he leaned in too closely to his homework, trying to write more slowly and neatly than usual – that two children, however indeed beautiful they were to me, was enough.

I could not have done it. And that's what I knew for sure, listening to my mother's heart pumping, far too reminiscent of the sound of my pregnancies. I could never have juggled three.


Raige Creations said...

Is it ironic that I learned to juggle at camp when I was in middle school, and am very proud that I can (sorta) still juggle three balls, and that I also have juggled three children for almost 14 years?

Jenn said...

I can juggle. Well I used to do it real well..but I am only so-so now. And I juggle 5. I've always said, once you master 3, 4 and 5 are no sweat!!

Cheers, Jenn

Abracadebra Designs said...

LOL, I can juggle two balls, but only 1 child who just so happens to be able to juggle 3 balls, but not homework along with chores ;)

Paula Martin said...

I can't juggle - and two children were quite enough for me!

Kathy said...

I can't juggle either, and 2 was my limit. I would lose my freaking mind with anymore. LOL


Amy Morgan said...

Coordination is not a word that has ever been associated with me. Juggling? No way. Three miscarriages before our one son. I knew when to quit and count my blessings.

mooderino said...

really great post.


Sharkbytes said...

Nice little story. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.

Arlee Bird said...

You caught my attention with this post since I am a juggler. And though I never had to give birth I know a lot about the juggling involved in raising children.

For what it's worth you can tell Kenny that juggling is manipulation. You can juggle one ball for that matter--soccer players do it all the time.

A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog

Joyce Lansky said...

I juggled three. Once you get to three, the adults become out numbered, but I wouldn't give up the baby for anything!

Catch My Words

Theresa Milstein said...

I like how you compare the blood with your kids with your pregnancies. I thought I would want three, but two is perfect for us.

danneromero said...

love this, intro to ending.. very nice.

Jeremy Bates said...

I always admired the jugglers I used to see in parks, especially the ones who had a humorous script to go along with it.

I can't imagine juggling kids!

November Rain - k~ said...

Surely you say that, but had it been your role in life, you would have done it with as much grace as you do the two you have. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Sandra...I have six children! lol "Juggle" would be the perfect word for managing six kids... : )

Anonymous said...

I don't know how to juggle balls.

I don't have kids, but I feel like I juggle kids in the classroom.

Mike said...

I love the way you brought the juggling back in at the end! I remember coming home from college and trying to show my Mom that I had learned to juggle. Let me just say that when you're trying to show off, don't use your Mom's eggs. When I read your last line, I dropped them all!

Casey said...


I'm popping by from the Getting To Know You bloghop. This is a great post...I love the way you've woven stories from three generations together- your mother's, your own, and your sons' generation. I look forward to coming back and reading more of your work. Couldn't work out why I can't follow you on Networked Blogs, but I've just followed you on Twitter.

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

I can't juggle, but for some strange reason I felt compelled to have 6 kids lol!! You just always write so well :)

Lisa Gradess Weinstein said...

Hi Sandra - you are the classic profile of a sandwich generation mom, stuck between caring for your parents and caring for your children. I love the way you talk about juggling balls, and juggling children! I've read your posts before and always enjoy them and I signed up to follow you after seeing your link on weekend blog hops.
All the best,
Lisa Weinstein

Sparkle and Co said...

I couldn't juggle... So having a lonely child is good for me. Your post is well written, very funny indeed

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