Balance and I parted ways many years ago. I don’t miss the illusory term, as if I can neatly compartmentalize my life into properly weighted boxes that hold my emotions, family responsibilities, work role, mythical “me time” and of course charity work. (Kidding on that part.) Our household is incapabable of balance because autism times three has made it that way. Now, does that mean we’re topsy turvy upside down 24/7? Not at all. We have a lovely life. But picture a ship at sea. In time the sailors begin to ignore the swells and the yawing of the ship. When they are back on land, they need to readjust. Same for us, except there’s no dry land in sight. Also OK.
So what helps me stay sane? High points. Moments in time where we sing and rejoice and something wonderful, even if it’s fleeting, happens to us. It could be one of the girls using a new sign to communicate. Or acing a spelling test. Or greeting me appropriately at the door. Or it could be this:
That’s Bob McGrath, whom you know as Bob from Sesame Street. I was at a book event in NYC, and afterward my husband and agent and I went across the street for dinner at a lovely restaurant called The Crooked Knife. As we were seated, the entertainment was just packing up. Our booth was right next to their equipment and we struck up a conversation, natch, with the two men who call themselves The Dueling Fiddlers. Adam DeGraff gave us a CD. Kim Stagliano gave Adam a signed book. Adam told us that “The Sesame Street execs are here having dinner.” My eyebrows shot up faster than Bert’s unibrow at a shiny bottlecap collection. We are a Sesame Street family. I watched the first show in 1969. My 40 year old brother grew up on it. And my girls still watch every single day, well into their teens.
I sat down at our table and tried to quell my excitement, after all, I don’t know any of the “execs.” Then a gentleman turned at the table and I whispered, “Oh, it’s BOB!” Yup. Bob McGrath, Bob “Who are the people in your neighborhood,” McGrath was feet away from me.
Time for some balance… I asked Adam, “Could I meet him for just a moment?”
Bob agreed and I walked over to their table and promptly burst into tears, “You’re B-b-b-bob! You have no idea what you’ve meant to my family.” He was charming and genuinely touched. Everyone at the table had that, “aaaawwww look at the nice crazy woman,” face on.
Make your own balance. Don’t wait for it. Even when you’re walking on Jello – you can find balance and happiness. And it all else fails, turn on Channel 13: Sesame Street.