Once upon a time, I had no children.

Then I had one. I’d known all along that children take more time and are more work than you’d expect, and just so: It was more work and took more time than I had expected. Think of it as constantly holding a ball: it’s surprisingly difficult to get anything done with just one hand free.

Then I had two. This time, I wasn’t expecting to be surprised; I was, after all, already a parent, and already knew how much time and work goes into taking care of a child. The lesson I should have learned, however, was that it’s more work and takes more time than you expect. With two balls to hold, just arranging for one hand to be free is a major undertaking.

And then I had three. I can spot a trend when smacked in the head with one, so I fully expected to be surprised by how much time it would take, and how much work it’d be, to have three children. And I was. One ball, you can hold and have one hand free. Two balls, you can hold safely, one in each hand. Three balls, you have to juggle.

But they’re such lovely little balls. Round and brightly colored, flying and spinning.

And best of all, we’re two hands who juggle them together.