Wednesday, April 25, 2012
But as many of you know, silence is near impossible for a girl who has had words continually rushing through her body, mind, and soul since babyhood, a girl whose universe is all about language. So ordering silence is hardly effective; it just ramps up the anxiety (but a mama can dream).
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Yes. Well. That was pretty bad. I was also going to tell you how I am attributing days (or weeks) like this to simple brain-branching, neural overload, the inevitable ravages of inhabiting a growing body and mind. The good thing about this is that one has only to adopt a this-too-shall-pass attitude towards the whole thing, and pray for patience and fortitude til the storm passes.
But then this morning I was sitting in church and watching a young teenager snuggle into her papa's shoulder, admiring their easy intimacy, how they inclined their heads and whispered into each others' ears. It brought back memories of sitting with my own father in just that way, along with an attendant wave of feelings: safety, security, warmth, the peace of being encircled and contained by the boundless love of a parent.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
8 am After a last minute scramble for shoes and chase with a hair brush, we are off to drop Frances at school. Gabriel is devastated when I tell him he cannot take his new robotic bug in to show her teacher. Frances clings to me at the door, just for fun. Goodbye, have a good day!
9 am I oversee Gabriel's dutiful picture-drawing (there are many people who have lavished him with birthday treasures who are in need of proper thank yous) while I call his teacher to see if he can drop in on after-school enrichment this afternoon. Turns out there is no enrichment on Thursdays. I call a mama friend who sometimes babysits. Her son had a 103 degree fever last night. Hmm. I call his best friend's mama, who graciously agrees to take him on a play date. Hooray! I can make the Eastport Girls Club meeting I forgot to arrange child care for after all.
Monday, April 16, 2012
I've had the conversation. And it's true, I've been astounded by the differences in my children (as compared with each other and with other children of the opposite sex) in terms of what they find compelling from a surprisingly young age. My baby boy's first song was an ode to balls; my baby girl would pour over family photo albums and memorize each name and face.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Cherry Chalkfoot, leaving her bright blue trail behind her everywhere she goes. The image made me smile, disarming me at just the moment that my blood was beginning to boil and send steam seeping from my ears. Oh, my children! When they pick and bait at each other in a compulsive way, unable to let the bickering cycle cease, they drive me batty.
This seems to be the fallout from Frances's exclusive trip to her Grammy and Poppy's house: heightened sibling jealously and competition. Gabriel found it unbearable that she got to go and he didn't; Frances found it unbearable that we did anything fun at all while she was gone. Whenever one reports a small pleasure from earlier in the week, the other begins to moan in agony. I outlawed the word "fair" long ago, but nevertheless I have heard it whined and groaned and wailed countless times over the past day. You went out for bagels?!? Mama! That's not fair!!
Monday, April 9, 2012
All three grandparents visited over the weekend, during which we celebrated Gabriel's birthday, my mother's birthday, and Easter. There was lots of good eating and drinking, playing outside together, snuggling over stories, visiting with neighbors, digging in the dirt, and - oh yes - sweets galore. This morning Mike's parents packed Frances up in their car and headed back to their house, where she'll have some special time with them over her spring break. Then Mike went to work. Gabriel and I sat in the empty house and sized one another up with crestfallen looks on our faces. Just you, then?
At first my boy whined and complained about the lack of special stuff to do. I was less than sympathetic (I felt the same!). He eventually rallied and played with his new sports equipment, until the second ball in two days fell into the black hole under our deck, lost forever. The wet sheets whipped my face rudely as I wrestled them into submission with clothespin on the line. I ate too many Easter cookies after lunch. Oh, the afternoon stretched so bleakly before us!
Until we decided to take the brand new kite to St. John's. And explore the boathouse (why haven't we before??) and sprawl lazily on the pier, telling each other boat stories. And run across the green lawn, buffeted this way and that in the springtime elements, sunswept and windswept and much, much better.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
However. It has been gorgeous out, and I have been doing quite a lot. It just all tends towards fun-and-pretty rather than practical-and-orderly. Here's our latest making and doing list:
1. Gardening! As the newly minted Gardener-in-Chief (a job long held by my more knowledgeable and experienced husband) I have been busy making this makeshift chicken wire fence, planting seeds, preparing beds, building teepees. In this precious, relatively bug-free season, it is all pleasure.
Monday, April 2, 2012
It was bright, blue, and breezy; I spent an hour in the crisp sunshine chatting with a friend and lazily watching our kids tempt disaster by playing with long sticks and heavy rocks after school; I cut a large yellow bowl-full of sorrel from the garden and made a green soup for dinner. There's more: Frances did her homework and gave herself a bath without complaints, a mama friend took Gabriel on a trip to a nearby wildlife refuge this morning so I could work, I made it to the gym, we left the windows and doors open all afternoon, we danced to some old favorites before dinner and read an old favorite that both kids eagerly wanted to hear before bed.
But none of those things can sufficiently account for it. This day is more than the sum of its parts! It's that sort of day. No fireworks, no parties - just solidly, humbly, and brilliantly terrific. The buzz and brightness of spring infiltrated me completely today, and I don't think I was the only one.