This morning, with the soft morning sun in my eyes,wood stove smells wafting in my nose, and a very sleepy mind I wove in and out of yesterdays creations. I saw my boys busy, so busy, building yet another track; Choo-chooing thier way around the house, with not much more than a, “Morning Mama!” and a smile and it occured to me how suddenly my little paint smearing finger painters had turned into little boys who have coated our house with so much art and innovation that I couldn’t help but smile. How quickly this happened. I lied my bobble head baby down and snapped a few pictures.
This freedom to be bored is something to behold. With not much of a schedule, and the weather growing wetter and colder, they have been quite content to craft and create with such a fervor I can hardly keep up. There is a constant influx of rolls of tape, stacks of blank paper, lots and lots of writing utensils, and of course cardboard boxes. I have been thinking about the age of, “I am bored.” and when that occurs. I really don’t know. (Any of you with older children, please chime in!) But for now, I am soaking up the beauty of never ending ideas and energy surging out of their limbs. And trying to soak some of it up too.
I have boys. Lots of them. I can’t say with certainty that I crave a little girl, but mostly I think that is because I get to love on this little lady for my forever.
It feels good to have a home to share in these woods with family.
We are enjoying our first snow day worthy of snow men and shovels.
The first coating of snow fell while we slept last night. Pft…pft…pft…pft…. and everything is different. I am sure the snow suits will be short-lived, the sun is bright and strong and by afternoon it will just be a crispy memory.
But come again it will…
Peeling off wet layers from little chubby boys and packing them tightly in fluffy ones is no easy task. In fact it is outright tricky. Last year my hopes were surrounded by a vision of both boys joyfully zipping up their own suits and squeezing on their own little mittens this year.. but alas so far this is not the case. My sweet cherub of a three-year old just doesn’t wanna. Similar to he just doesn’t wanna go outside, or doesn’t wanna eat eggs, or doesn’t wanna sleep, or doesn’t wanna do about a million things that seemingly must occur during the day. (I can hear my dear folks chiming in right now with memories of a particular “Princess I-no-wanna” as I was once called…so be it – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)
On an outing the other day, my little drag his feet through any transition boy began showing signs of an impending tantrum. I could hear him hollering from deep inside the bear cave at the science museum, a tiny crevice of a spot in which giant pregnant me has literally been stuck inside, but somehow there is always about 10 toddlers hanging out in there. I could tell his big brother was taking cover as to avoid any possible blows. I reached in and found his dimpled ankles and with baby flailing under my arm I tugged him out. Lots of kicks, lots of angry three-year old accusations and growls, and lots of misplaced frustration came wailing out of that cave as he clawed the rug. I handed off the baby to the nearest mom (this is what all parents with three wild boys do right? right?) and wrestled him out of the gated section in attempts to cool him off. He yelled and flailed some more and then a friend tried to help and really it was just the thing he needed because with one big huge, “ONLY MY MOMMY!!!!” he burst into tears and crumpled like a dirty tissue. Pooled around my feet he held on and cried out. I scooped up the giant heap at my ankles and held on tight whispering all the coo’s of motherhood into his sweaty little ear. Truth be told, I knew he had felt some sort of injustice. It just isn’t him to behave this way anywhere but home (and believe me he takes advantage of the comforts of that location). It turns out he had been blocked from the exit and it made him sad, and sad turns to mad so quickly when you are human and this is what happened. I was glad I knew his suchness.
Had this been his older brother at three, I would have thought of what he should be. I would have been embarrassed. I wouldn’t have known this just is. I would have been angry too. Somehow three is easier this time around.
At times I beat myself up about what I didn’t know when Miles was three, and I am quite sure this type of figuring out will continue on down the road. But sometimes, like this particular day, I just keep going; I don’t even bat my eyes.
Shouldn’t we give ourselves the same grace as we do our children?
Now out we go to enjoy the seasons first snow.
The seven-day forecast is telling us, “Go NOW! This is your last chance till the weather turns!” And in this scenario, we are doing a good job of listening. The winter months plain old traumatized me last year. Weeks of negative temperatures and a very, very weary and long first trimester instilled the fear of the cold into my bloodstream. So out we go. All day every day.
We headed to the fair grounds yesterday, one of the only real destinations in my town. The intentions were to ride bikes. I envisioned them spinning circles around the dusty road along the old fair stands and me cheering them on. I so wanted (read: desperately needed) for them to burn off some of their energy, but I should have known their pots are bottomless. Instead of the fast paced cycling, my boys did what they do and sunk deep into a good old-fashioned game of pretend. I was lucky enough to be able to close my eyes with Jasper asleep on my chest, back leaned up against the cold cement dividers, warming my november cheeks and nose and listen to their banter. I thought about how play is children’s work. I thought about how much children are supposed to learn from this. I thought to the naked eye it would be hard to pull out the lessons in such a game. But, then I listened closer.
I heard them compromise over which direction to head. I listened as they contemplated going up on to the forbidden stage. I heard them as the argued, and argued hard about splashing each other in the mud puddles; setting boundaries. I saw them waving hello to the lunch time walkers. Miles read a sign, “Beware, Poison Ivy” and managed to stay away. I saw them gallop off and return to me, over and over again, respecting my wishes but testing them too. All in a days work I suppose.
It seems as if I can manage to pull myself out from under their feet, quit tripping them up, they will soar.
There she is. In all her glory. It seems that this is the only way to be “connected” in this little tucked in location on the side of a mountain. While I am not completely interested in having this big old eye sore directly next to our beloved garden, it really isn’t that big of a deal. It allows us our Friday night movie, this blog, and the ability to answer a whole lot of questions. You know like, whats the biggest number in the world? Whats the strongest rock? Whats the strongest metal? Real manly questions. And while there were surely aspects of not being connected I missed, I must say over all it was, so much easier. It just wasn’t an option. And my oh my, you would be an outright liar if you said this here clicking around the keyboard wasn’t addicting. With that said, it was a welcome break and we are back.
But in the meantime…
Five years ago, I knit my first non-scarf item. Of course, of course it was a baby surprise. I took a class on it at my then local knit shop with Miles on my lap. I picked a worsted weight cotton and casted on so very tightly. Sweaty with frustration and nervousness amongst the older wise knitters in the class, it took me the whole two hours to knit two whole rows and then my yarn broke. The owner took pity on my teary eyes and pretended the yarn was defective and gave me a skein of forgiving wool with some serious give to it. The little sweater has since been munched on by moths and has lots of little knots tied in, but truly it was the start of something so good for me. Shortly after, a friend (check out her amazing blog it really is sooo good!) picked up on my desire to learn this craft and spent countless hours with me fixing my mistakes and taming my frustrations. A few chenille teddy bears later and I felt like a knitter. It was a start.
And now a few boys later and armfuls of knitted goods at our side I am picking up another fiber craft.
I borrowed this wheel from my neighbor. It is a Schact and it is beatiful. I am so very grateful for her trust and generosity. It has recieved a lot of attention and I am pleased to say things are moving along nicely. I took a class at our local sheep and wool festival and have managed to find time almost every night, even just the smallest amount to sit in front of the wheel and treadle or spin. There is nothing quite like a warm fire, a cold beer and a whirling wheel. Oh except maybe a package in the mail containing a full pound of the shiniest white roving imaginable begging to be spun up and dyed. I have plum bark simmering atop the woodstove this very moment. I am hopeful for some rich pinks for the pink lover among us is in need of some mittens.
It seems the counting part of knitting is what is throwing my foggy baby brain off, so spinning seems to be just the thing to get me motivated. But before I end this here post, I want to remind any readers that may be thinking it looks like I have it all together, that I have a toilet that I plunge to flush and am ok with that, have only one pair of pants that fit me otherwise I wear tights and pretend I dont care they are indeed not pants, and recently took my oldest son to the doctors for what I thought was an ear infection, and it turns out his ear was only… er… dirty. So, there you have it.
Dirty but cute.