We often talk of finding the right balance. Eating a balanced diet. Achieving work-life balance.
Frankly, I don’t believe in balance. It’s all tension.
A teacher once explained how when two things are pulling you in different directions, that’s tension. Not balance.
Life and foster care are riddled with tension.
Treating my foster child to the chips he knows and loves OR encouraging him to enjoy a healthier palate.
Showing him grace when he missteps OR teaching him about consequences.
Helping him with his homework OR inviting his independence.
The list goes on of course. With both sides having merit.
I struggle with trying to walk such a tight rope. The knots in my back remind me daily that I have no balance. And never will.
Often outsiders see us falling toward one side or another.
Rushing to a child’s side when she complains of an imaginary wound or complementing a seemingly small responsible choice.
I’ll admit, despite all the tension, we rarely pick tough love.
After all, these little ones have known too much tough and too little love.
Maybe nobody answered their cries when they were babes? Or maybe the person who did is gone now?
Either way, they deserve some gushy, over-the-top, reckless love.
Don’t worry, we still believe in rules and discipline. And have the behavior charts to prove it.
But if I have to err one way or another, I choose this way.