Parenthood is a juggling act, they say.
But I don’t like that image at all:
The parent as a clown.
An audience giggling.
Ready to be amused.
Counting how many eggs you keep in the air. Speculating what you might drop: the career egg, the marriage egg, a child perhaps?
I choose another circus metaphor:
The parent as a trapeze artist.
An audience gaping. Ready to be amazed.
You climb up determinedly, swing wildly, throw yourself into the unknown. Sometimes caught, wrist tight, by another trapeze artist. Sometimes grasping the bar alone, clinging by fingertips, sailing onwards. Sometimes free-falling into unplanned empty space.
But always there is a safety net below – and your audience does not laugh, for you’re not a clown. Instead, hear them applaud your grace and your bravery even as you climb the ladder to try again.