I’ve made no secret that my ability to gracefully balance between the work realm and the craft table is a myth. I’ve tried to do it all, I’ve sobbed at the futility of it, but I’ve also realized something—no one does everything perfectly. We all feel less-than at some point or another. We working moms don’t have it tougher than working women, stay at home moms or guys. We just have it different.

The times when I feel like I am getting the hang of it (this applies to working or parenting) are when I am completely there. It can be deeply moving or just a relief.  Yesterday I had one such moment. Sean was running an errand that bled into a work thing; dinner and homework were falling solely on me. I set aside my computer, turned off the tv and gave myself to the girls.

Finley babbled on about her day, sometimes taking 4 tries before getting each sentence out the way she wanted. Her desire to descriptively articulate her thoughts is huge. Once she was done she skipped from the frame to gather princesses, purses and magnets. I smiled as Avery slipped into my spotlight and regaled me with stories of the madcaps on the playground. Mid-sentence she’d cock her head, flop her bangs to the side and roll her eyes with a “Can you believe it?” look. And then there was Briar.

She sat next to me, ours arm touching and her eyes boring into mine. I see how hard she is craning her whole being to fit into the grown up realm. She wants the 3:2 ratio to be three grown ups to two kids. I get it and I admire her determination, recognize it as something I have passed on to her, but understanding as I do how it builds in intensity as we age, I wish for her the longest stretch of relatively carefree youth that I can give her. I look at her, really listen to her and allow a slightly different camaraderie with her to feed that older sister need to be different.

I was getting ready to organize some project or another, it was going to involve a glue stick, sparkles and a lot of ad-libbing. Instead the girls began squawking what they would name their babies. Finley affected a faux British accent and said, “I will name my daughter Sara. Seh-ruh, Sara.” Ave skipped over and whispered in my ear, “Mine is gonna be Jessica, but don’t tell Finley, she’ll steal it.” I nodded and smiled. Then Briar slapped her hands on the table and yelled, “Ba-dawna!”

We all looked at her. “What did you say?” I asked. Again, she squealed, “Ba-dawna!” I leaned in, “What is Ba-dawn?” She danced around the table swinging her head from side to side and said, “Ba-dawna, Ba-dawn, Ba-dawn, it’s the name of the baby I’ll have.”

We all sat there laughing. I was so grateful not to be muttering, “D’what?” with preoccupied eyes, but mostly I was just grateful to have such goofy kids.

Go, be goofy, the world won’t break.