Friday, June 10, 2011

Last Night's Reflecting (9 June 2011)

Today, with my children, was lovely.

My favorite thing that was said today was from Benji: I love the smell of warm.

Me too. June is beginning to feel so good.

We were with friends earlier in the day. I went running and got soaked in the rain. The temperature was perfect and my only concern was my white tank, which made me run a bit faster so I didn’t become transparent.

When we came home I picked up (like usual), the kids ate popsicles (also typical). I went out to check on the garden and we found baby cherry tomatoes on three plants. Then I sat down on the deck in one of the chairs with the kids. We were listening to the wind and how it sounds rushing through trees full of leaves and watching birds eating out of the feeder. It was content and quiet. One of those perfect moments, one of those I will miss forever. I feel ever conscious of the clock…sometimes, when I’m exasperated, grateful for it. Other times, heartbroken and frantic to cling on somehow, praying that beautiful and incredible will continue in new, surprising ways. But knowing, always knowing, these will be my favorite years. This crazy, chaotic, always-busy-time will have drained so much from me that all that is anything from me will be in it and I will miss it fiercely. I will miss my little people.

I made them fried eggs and toast with butter and honey for dinner. We had watermelon for dessert. I made bread dough and let that start rising on the counter while we read the stories they picked out for bedtime. We brushed teeth (which has got to be THE activity in the bedtime routine that I honestly dread the most!), said prayer, read some scripture. I tucked the boys in bed and went to Mimi’s room. Tucked her in and sang a song together.

With bread rising, I went out and started the watering of the front lawn for the evening. Then, with that going, went downstairs to start folding laundry and put in a documentary on Thomas Jefferson to watch. I was given so much great food for thought, including one thought from him that our religion will be read from our lives and not our words.

During one of the breaks where I went to switch the water, I found myself marveling at our relatively tiny plot of ground that we call home. The way all the houses on our street are right next to each other, in sharp juxtaposition to years ago when many people owned acres and acres, and that was the norm. I thought about a life simpler than the one we live in---not more simple in the workload or intellectual life or easier---but simple in what was valued and taught and respected. I came away asking how the great minds we’ve revered for centuries became what they were, the same way I’ve wondered why we haven’t had another Bach.

And here’s where I rant, but I have to wonder, in many ways, how much of it stems from yesteryear’ lack of entertainment media and today’s norm for many people of constantly being in the hooked up, plugged in, tuned in, watching, texting, electronic frenzy that is our life. It makes me grateful for the relative quiet that is our home, without many of these things by choice. Not because they are bad, but because I feel that by and large, they rob my family of time truly being together in the present, and of time they could be outside exercising muscles or engaging in books that stretch their minds or talking with a neighbor that is actually in the flesh instead of through some electronic medium. There is definite tension for me – for example, I heart texting. Email is amazing. And don’t even get me started on how in love I am with Google. But I am quick to want to disconnect on so many levels too and try to live in the real world and not the virtual one. Careful what I am letting influence my mind. Careful to not be governed too much from the outside and from what everyone else is doing. I try to live my life personally. We eat and sleep and laugh and read and walk and talk with friends. I also, amid those lovely things, have frequent bouts of frustration from kids who aren’t listening and yell sometimes (yikes!) and get bogged down by the sheer workload too.

But I love it deep down into my bones.

There is nothing else I’d rather do.

I am right where I want to be, spending each minute the way I would honestly choose to spend it – and with the people I most want to be with.

With all these thoughts swirling, I ended up feeling gratitude for this small, sacred space I call home…for things like our mismatched chairs around a humble antique table that I love. For all the things in our house, inside and out, that are unfinished and need tending. It means, as they say in Return to Me, I (we) are blessed with work.

But, mostly and especially, for the little people, asleep now in their beds, because of the experience of a lifetime they are giving me.

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