Sometimes You’re the Kite, Sometimes You’re the Anchor

It’s really not fair. Anyone can see that.

It’s not fair that Micah gets to go to work each day, that it matters what he wears or if he has bedhead. It’s not fair that he gets to sit in meetings where he shares ideas and people listen, that they appreciate his expertise, that they will take his advice.

He doesn’t live his life with a capricious and mischievous two-year-old as a constant companion, a little being who can turn a simple trip to the grocery store into an epic battle of wills. He can have insightful conversations with the people he spends his days with. He doesn’t have to remind his co-workers 7 times in a hour to sit and do their work, or revoke various privileges when they once again lose focus and start chasing each other and fighting over a stuffed monkey.

It must be nice, I think, to be compensated and appreciated. To be able to be promoted. To switch jobs if necessary.
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But then again, it’s really not fair and anyone can see that.

It’s not fair that I can wear my pjs all day and it would be totally appropriate. It’s not fair that I can sit and watch “Clifford The Big Red Dog” in the name of quality bonding time. It’s not fair that I can write whatever I want and work on whatever projects interest me the most.

I don’t have to worry about making enough money to take care of the family. I don’t have to set my own ideas aside or refashion my creative impulses to fit somebody else’s vision. I don’t have the pressure of so many deadlines or the worry of what could happen if I didn’t make them.

And I’m sure he thinks it must be nice to have the best hours of the day open to whatever I want: a run in the park, a get-together with friends, a lazy day of reading and playing make-believe.

Sometimes it feels like I am the anchor to Micah’s kite, letting him soar up above the trees where he can see spectacular views and feel the rush of the wind in his hair. It feels like I’m stuck on the ground, nothing to see, nothing to do but watch and wonder what it’s like up there.

But other times, I feel like I am the kite: flying, diving, tossed about. Beautiful views, yes, and exhilarating speed. But a bit unsteady and unsure. It must be nice, I think, to be on solid ground and surrounded by people and things, to be able to sit and relax for a bit, instead of always being pushed around.

The truth is that sometimes I am the kite, and sometimes I’m the anchor. And sometimes Micah is the anchor and sometimes he’s the kite. Sometimes we are a little bit of both. And sometimes it feels like we are both caught in the tree, tangled and trapped without any feet on the ground or any heads in the sky.

But that is the price of marriage and family and love and life. And it’s boring and it’s crazy and it’s a drag and it’s a party. And I’ll take it any day of the week. (null)

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7 Comments

  1. Such a great analogy. I’ve been struggling with this lately. Actually, I think I’ve been struggling with my identity ever since having kids and leaving the full-time work force.

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    lizzie Reply:

    Yeah. It’s such a different state of being to have to really create your own structure every day and then have it be blown off course by a tantrum or a nap or a literal stop to smell the flowers. I think I’ve had a hard time coming to a place where I realize that both places are hard and both places are wonderful and I don’t have to try to compare them with each other quite so much.

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  2. This is good. Real good. Like, pretty-much-my-daily-internal-monologue-and-how-did-you-get-in-my-brain kind of good.

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    lizzie Reply:

    Well then. I should try to get in your brain more often.

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  3. I agree with Valerie. And this needs to be republished….it’s so good. Modern Love, NY Times??!!

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    lizzie Reply:

    Thanks! And I’ve been working on that essay which is why that imagery has been on my mind. Hopefully I’ll have it ready to submit in a few weeks!

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  4. LOVE this!!! Parenthood is so challenging, yet so rewarding. Learning to be flexible and chill when plans get thrown off is not always easy, but for everyone’s health and happiness it seems to be essential. I’m working on it. Thanks for the analogy. I agree that this needs to be republished. 🙂

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  5. This is perfectly stated! I enjoy being by myself during the day. However, every now-and-then those “normal working hours” look mighty good!
    My husband and I have talked about reversing rolls. I know that he would be great at staying home. I’m not sure how well I would do with the pressures of earning for the family.

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  6. Oops, lots of spelling errors above! Sorry!

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  7. Oh yes. It isn’t fair, is it? All and none of it. Great analogy. I’m thankfully very happy to be the kite right now, but it’s always nice for both the kite and the anchor when the sun is shining and everyone is happy.

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