There is this song.  It’s called Cinderella.  The song was written by and is sung by Steven Curtis Chapman.  I still remember how I felt the first time I heard it.  It was one of those gut-wrenching, soul capturing moments that produced uncontrollable tears.  (There is a story behind the song and is well worth the read–Read it here. Have tissues ready. )  I used to listen to the song on repeat while I let the truth of the words sink in.  The hauntingly beautiful lyrics moved me deeply. 

I hadn’t listened to the song much over the last few years.  However, as our little dancer has bloomed, the song has re-emerged on our playlist.

The song starts out,

She spins and she sways to whatever song plays, without a care in the world. . .

There is not one word of fluff in the lyrics and each and every time I hear them. . . I cry.  Chanelle just laughs at me and can’t understand why a song would make me cry.  I do cry and not those drip, drip, drip kind of tears but rather the kind of tears that literally take my breath away and prevent me from seeing clearly.  It usually hits with these words.

I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone.

Every time I hear those words, ‘she’ll be gone’, I want to run and grab her or him or them and memorize everything about the moment.  I want to remember their faces and their voices and their sweet words and characters.  I want to remember the sweetness of these fleeting years when I’m called Mama and depended on nearly every second of every day. 

And as quickly as I vow to dive in and be in every moment, I find myself longing for an escape. 

Maybe escape isn’t the perfect word to use.  I think the thing I’ve been trying to figure out is “balance”.  There is a part of me that truly understands how precious this time is.  A part of me that really understands that these days will be gone before I know it and that part of me says just one thing:  Drink. it. in.

But then there is another part of me.  The part of me that loves to write and run.  The part of me that is chasing the dreams with her camera.  The part of me that wants to learn new things and grow in so many areas.  The part of that longs to invest in deep friendships and is married to the love of her life.  The part of me who answers to “Summer”, not just “Mama”. 

How do I balance these parts?

Truth is, I haven’t been doing a very good job.  In my efforts to give everything 100 percent, I think I’ve lost my footing and found myself having a few too many meltdowns.  Meltdowns that include declarations of I’m just going to forget about any of my goals and maybe the slamming of a door or two or six?  (I have never claimed to be an entirely rational being.) Meltdowns that are completely irrational, yet still leave me feeling helpless and hopeless.

The other evening I said to Chad, I need to figure out balance.  Being the wise man that he is, he said nothing, but simply nodded his head in agreement. 

As I’ve thought about this during the week (I think) I’ve come to the place of acceptance that everything is not going to get 100 percentMaybe one day our kitchen floor will be littered with footprints and sticky Popsicle drippings while the kids and I hike through the woods.  Perhaps on another day the kids will sit and watch a movie while I edit pictures from a session.  Maybe on another day work will wait while Chad and I escape for “us” time. . . I could go on and on. . .

I guess what I’m realizing is that just as there is “give and take” in a relationship–there is also give and take in life–though I’m not entirely sure what that looks like in practice.

Tonight as I think about the lyric “she’ll be gone” I see it two ways. . .

Embrace each moment because before you know she (they) will be gone. . .

Or, don’t lose yourself, your dreams, your relationships because before you know it, they will be gone. . .

Balance. . . I’m embarking on the search for it.

(I’m open to any advice and words of wisdom.) 

  • LeAnn - May 10, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    This is a constant struggle for me as well, so I thank you for sharing your heart! I am sitting in my car with tears flowing, praying for you, for me, for so many other women that I know have these same thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to share with all of us… It is very much appreciated an a blessing to me and so many others!!!ReplyCancel

    • Summer - May 10, 2013 - 1:19 pm

      Thank you, LeAnn, for getting it and reminding me that I'm not the only one. I needed that. ReplyCancel

  • Katie - May 10, 2013 - 1:32 pm

    No, no, Summer, you are definitely not the only one. Even as my kids get older, I find myself wanting just to chuck everything and spend all day hiking and exploring and adventuring with my camera, but at the same time, I know that I should really be going grocery shopping, folding clothes, and tending to my garden (I loathe weeding!) And even all that aside, I also wonder what I want to do with my the rest of my life, now that we've got one in college and halfway out the nest. It's as though you have three sections in growing up: 1) when you're single/early married; 2) you have kids and create a family; then, 3) your life picks up where it left off before you had little ones. I'm beginning that final stage, and all that "freedom" is kinda paralyzing. But I also think that's what makes life such an adventure, too. I look at this last stage as a wide open prairie that I can explore as much as I want, choose to go any direction I want, and there's nothing that blocks my view.

    Like I said, kinda paralyzing, too. ; )ReplyCancel

    • Summer - May 17, 2013 - 6:12 pm

      I think you're right, Katie–the way your broke this down. I can imagine that the stage you are walking into is a bitter-sweet one and FULL of possibility. I can't wait to see where your path takes you. Undoubtedly, it will be filled with beautiful pictures. . . 🙂 ReplyCancel

  • Wrestling Kitties - May 17, 2013 - 6:20 pm

    Oh this just hits me so hard right now. Seriously, such a beautiful post.

    We are really struggling to find balance. For nearly two years now we have been on a schedule where I work during the day and Terry works at night and on the weekends. Some days we see each other for 15 minutes after I get home from work and before he leaves. He is home alone with Henry during the day and I am during the evening and most of the weekend.

    It is a strain on our relationship because we communicate mostly via text and the two of us hardly ever go out anymore or do things that we did before having a kid (i.e. I love crafts, terry golf and record collecting). There is an end in sight, but I think because I want this phase over I easily overlook the time with Henry I do have RIGHT NOW. I get easily frustrated and have major meltdowns and just wish the time would pass quicker.

    Then there is the guilt of feeling bad that you get frustrated, or aren’t fully cherishing this time, or wishing you had just a little time to MYSELF.

    Balance is key.

    I am hoping this summer we can find a little time WITH Henry as a family and AWAY from Henry for ourselves so that we can cherish the time we do have and appreciate these moments more. I have to remember that I need time for just ME, Terry and I need time for US, and we need time together as a FAMILY.

    For me, when I need a reminder I listen to Jason Mraz “I Won’t Give Up”.

    Great post.

    *My meltdowns are horrible. UGH. The last one I had, about 2 weeks ago, I went into the bathroom and turned the shower on and SAT in the shower and cried. I was a mess!!!

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