"I think I'm losing my mind this time.
This time I'm losing my mind, that's right."
One of the things that I love about having this family is the look of surprise on people's faces when I answer the inevitable question, "How many kids do you have?"
"FIVE?! What are their ages?"
"Nine, nine, twelve, fourteen and fourteen"
This is the point where I explain that we are a blended family and that I do not, in fact, look amazing for having had five children, but thank you. I think.
"So you chose this?"
"Yes, yes I did."
Or maybe, really, it's that this chose me. I remember the moment I met my three step-kids just as clearly as I remember the moment I met the Scientist and Triple Threat at the moment of their birth. Instant love. An immediate connaissance. Gong.
"How do you keep it all together?"
To be fair, my step-kids' mom is their primary caregiver, residential parent and advocate. The kids are with her during the week and with us every weekend and as much as possible on vacations and holidays. She is fiercely protective of her kids and takes care of their day to day needs, doctor appointments, IEP's at the school, the bulk of the responsibility. I am fortunate for this, as are they.
Still, though, there is a lot on my plate. Sometimes it gets heavy. Sometimes I get down about it.
I once was trying to work on "branding" myself. Not for a business, really, but just to have my own mental logo of myself. I kept coming back to the idea of a juggling octopus, keeping dozens of balls in the air at once. Some days those balls are on fire, too. And some days those balls are made of poop. Flaming poop.
On those days, there are three things a girl can do. Smile. Make someone else smile. Turn up the Beastie Boys.
And if a ball of flaming poop threatens to fall on your head, duck.