tutus, Mersault, and just being enough.

There was a moment last week when I nearly broke down; tension bombarding my chest, emotions wading through my brain, tears burning my eyes with memory.  It took everything in my soul to keep the stream from breaking the dam I’ve created in my mind, one wrought with the ferved pieces of life I’ve tended to stash away over the years.  My walls are thick, y’all. 

I watched as my little princess danced the night away in her sparkly pink tutu, carefree and oblivious to the world around her.  The glean in her eye shined from the stage so brightly, like a distant comet projecting through the sky: even though a quick glimmer, the brilliant light is a travesty to miss.  My little girl was so happy.  And I was overcome with affection, caught between knowing true joy and the realization that I, too, am engaged in a delicate dance. 


The balance of time equity is fragile, with my heart and head generally pulling in three different directions at once, my body twisted and turned until my back is slammed against the wall.  The clock is ticking. Time will eventually run out.  Little girls will only wear tutus for so long.  


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: being a working mother parent is hard. The pressures to surpass expectations during the day, coupled with the self-imposed high standards of home life, (and don’t forget the ever-increasing societial squeeze of personal perfection!), can be almost too much to bear.  Something has to give.  And usually it’s me. Let’s just say my yoga mat is lonely, y’all. (chocolate, anyone?)

The sommelier often wonders why I have so much pent up jealousy for his work trips to France, Spain, or Italy.  In truth, these trips are actually work for him, but I imagine fields of vineyards against a setting sun, full of grapes waiting to be harvested, as if gentle waves in the ocean were washing against his feet.  I long to travel there with our tiny dancer, showing her the beauty in the earth, tasting the sour skins that will eventually turn into a favorite vintage of deliciousness.  And I know someday we will… but not now. Not yet. 


For now I close my eyes as I imagine the old chateaus of Beaune glittering in the sun, dotting the landscape with their bright tiled roofs. Beckoning. 


For now I sip on a Premier Cru Mersault from Francois Mikulski, the crisp, lightly acidic Chardonnay glides down my throat in anticipation of summer, the thin veils of melon mingling in the minerality of the region.  My palate is electrified. 


And suddenly I remember; knowing that I am doing the best I can, claiming my weekdays and time in the most productive way possible, while balancing zoo visits and enticing new foods on the weekends. I have to be enough. Just balancing. Teetering. Realizing that even though I may claim to be, I am not superwomanI, me, myself… have to be enough.  

And in her eyes, I am.  She thinks I’m a queen.  And that’s all that matters, y’all. 

Happy Mother’s Day.  Cheers.  

striving to find the balance: chaos, clutter, and Bulleit bourbon.

There’s a dollhouse in our living room that exudes a certain lifestyle and image. Almost every day, our little girl voids the rooms of it’s plastic furnishings, painstakingly lines up the characters, tables, and tea saucers, then perfectly places them all back into their small space. It’s a constant reminder of how she views her world.


I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m not perfect. As much as I try to harbor the scintillating negative thoughts and emotions that invade my day, occasionally I slip up. This morning, after thrashing through bedsheets and pillows and piles of toys, I cried out in a wallop of stress and frustration when I couldn’t locate big girl monkey. Rhea was scared, and I callowed in guilt. The last kind of mother I ever wanted to be was one who lashed out with impatience. Yet here I am.


Sometimes, the balance seems unbearable; being everything to everyone can take a toll on your mind and your heart. I keep telling the sommelier I need a date night, and it’s not because I think he doesn’t appreciate me, but because I just need a break. A break from the responsibility of planning and structuring, a break from the schedules of dance class and breakfast meetings and lunch meetings and teleconferences…then cleaning the clutter and making dinners and feeding dogs and giving baths….And I don’t want to give the impression that I have absolutely no help… because that’s not true.


I’m very fortunate to have a loving husband who cooks and picks up and stays home when I’m out of town on business. And parents and sisters and in-laws who have all done their fair share of child rearing for us. But it’s hard, y’all.

Somedays I wish I had a less challenging job, then I could spend all my free time focused on my daughter. Instead, because I actually do love what I do, most nights I find myself sending emails or doing reports after she’s in bed, or multitasking if I have deadlines to meet. Then the chores lose themselves in the chaos. And the clutter. And then I’m in the chaos. It’s a never ending cycle.


So, needless to say, Hatha yoga has been my friend. And recently, I’ve joined my sisters at an extremely early morning boot camp. But some nights, what I really look forward to… is a bourbon concoction that warms my belly and stays my fears. Personally, my standard homemade concoction is Bulleit Rye Whiskey on the rocks with a splash of Campari, angostura bitters, ginger ale or ginger beer, and muddled orange. For those unaware to the world of Kentucky Bourbon, Bulleit has been making headway in small batch distilleries for 150 years. Using straight rye, the snarky, spicy structure of the bourbon exudes character, while the finish is smooth with a touch of vanilla and oak. I kind of feel like I’m in an episode of Madmen when I sip it.


It’s delicious. And balanced. And while not as satisfying as a deep hug from my beautiful, sweet daughter, it does the job. And so will I. Because as a working mother, that’s the commitment I’ve made to myself, my little girl, and my husband. We will prevail, as a family.


Cheers, y’all. Live life with balance.