I sometimes mourn the days when I was pregnant with my first or second and life was a little slower and I had time to settle in and actually be pregnant and put my feet up for a few hours. And then I think how difficult the waiting would be. I was two weeks early with both Miles and Rowan, never leaving enough days left of a pregnancy to receive the sweet phone calls wondering how things are going, (read – see if the baby is born). I waited with Jasper, not past the due date, but close enough to it to be waiting, and now it looks like I am doing a touch of waiting here as well. And well the waiting is fine when you have three giant bags of apples and pumpkins to turn into pies and sauce, several bushels of tomatoes looking to be turned into just about anything, and of course, three little boys who couldn’t slow down even if they tried. So I knit, and I spin, and I chase, and I bake and I feed. And each night we go to bed, we all see the birthing tub sitting there, just staring at us, wondering if tonight we will be filling it up. And each morning we pass it without so much of glance, and continue on.
We are so excited to meet this little baby I can hardly describe it. I can’t wait to be posting pictures of my four sweet babies here soon enough.
Basically the best way to start the day ever. Apple Pie with a streusel topping, which is a stray from my normal pie but good none the less, and our very own maple sausage. Those piggies are not being taken for granted I can promise you that.
A downed Ash tree provided hours of imagination and wonder yesterday morning. Nestled in mushrooms, frolicking cats, forts, bark beetles, and lots of climbing were on the agenda. Gorgeous canopy light sparkling through, the last of the season as we can clearly see the leaves are beginning their journey back to the earth. Soon the forest will provide only long, slender autumn shadows.
The days are packed as we spend our afternoons, preparing for, submitting to, and then finally attending the annual world’s fair. The bigger two boys are tall enough for any ride, and their chests were pumped up like body builders when they crossed over to the “big kid” section of the rides and stepped aboard the much discussed bumper cars. Oh the fair, it really a special thing around here.
And a quick recap of the biggest events- I am still pregnant, my sweet husband just turned another loop around the sun (33! We love this number!), winter jackets are being aired and last minute baby projects are closing in on us. Exciting fair pictures to come soon.
The day started early. A tractor wake up call from our neighbor who was letting us borrow it to hang our pigs on after they were slaughtered. Miles had purchased an inflatable raft with his birthday money the day before, and we immediately headed out for the pond to test it out. They spent the early part of the morning taking turns learning to row, exploring cat tails and searching for frogs. We headed back, plucking plantain to dry for all sorts of concoctions along the way. Many books were read, many neighbors stopped by to help with the pigs and maybe to see if this baby was on her way. She is not. Yet! Our sweet little “almost nine-year” old neighbor played with the boys for hours and then we all headed down to the neighbors barn to walk some baby cows; Get a proper lesson, use the new halter, hop around in the now full hay loft. A late supper was devoured and eyes were at rest before heads hit the pillow.
I started to get caught up somewhere in the middle of the day that we had no time for “school” work that day; That the baby was coming soon enough and we would be behind. And then it hit me. What we did was so much more than I could ever teach them. Not all days are like this, but the reality is most are. There were lessons in butchering, in where our food comes from, in life and death, in sharing and cooperating, habitats of ponds, medicinal use of plants… the list goes on and on. And the best part was, I didn’t have to do a thing extra.
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Homeschooling puts on a certain level of pressure, and at the very same moment takes a giant mound of that pressure off. All these books have their time and place. And honestly, the boys enjoy the crafting and stories that are tucked inside them. But, I must remember not to let them take the place of the real reason we are choosing this life. The idea that life can present all the learning we need. The thought that these boys have a mission in life, and will seek it out despite their education or hand in hand with it. I am, of course, an advocate for all types and styles of education, both in a traditional school and at home- but on a day like today, it solidified our current path.
Now if only the tooth fairy had not “forgotten to come”, the day could have been rounded off with perfection… ah well you win some you lose some right?