Monday, September 24, 2012

welcome to monday, with a side of my brain.

i’ve never really hated mondays.

in fact i kind of look forward to them. no, it’s not because jeremy goes back to work and some of the kids go to school. why ever would you think that?

i guess i have enough type-A personality traits to enjoy the schedule that weekdays brings. even if my weekday “schedule” is totally unwritten and 100% flexible.
whatev.

although it seems like i can’t get my stuff together enough on weekends to prepare monday morning’s blog post. leading to a kind of random monday pensivity (yeah, it’s a word) that inspires flowy stream-of-consciousness type posts. like this one.

ready?

so i’ve been thinking a lot lately about two separate, yet related things. first i read somewhere (i’m thinking maybe the girls at simple simon mentioned it?) about a book called “the handmade home”. i don’t necessarily want to read the book, but the phrase stuck with me.

A Handmade Home.

yes.

this is what i want. obviously this house literally is handmade—in our 10 years here we’ve managed to rip down, redo and touch virtually every surface with mostly our own two four hands. but it’s the inside i’m concerned with. the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the blankets we snuggle under.

it’s sort of indefinable—this “handmade home” i’m after. because it’s not that i want every. single. thing. we use and/or have to be handmade. that’s simply not practical, nor is it even something i’m interested in. but i want select important things to fall into that category.

i want warmth, love, sunshine, flowy curtains, quilts, handmade clothing, fresh bread. i want candles and laughter. i want peace and books and fluffy blankets for snuggly times. i want baskets and red wine and family and friends stopping by. and preferably a soundtrack consisting of 25% frank sinatra, 25% beethoven, 25% 70’s and 80’s rock, and 25% current good music we can all dance in the kitchen to.
cause everyday we’re shufflin’.

is there a way to create that pandora station? and have it intuitively know which one to play based on the current mood?

i mentioned back when i made elliot’s quilt that i wanted handmade blankets for the entire house. and that hasn’t changed. i’m hard at work on a crochet blanket for the family room. i’ve grown to hate the mish-mash of blankets thrown into the corner we use when we’re in there. in my mind’s eye i see 2 or 3 soft and worn quilts folded neatly into a large woven basket.

maybe i’ll take up basket weaving, too.

it’s become sort of the apex or sticking point in my desire to have what i imagine to be the “Handmade Home”. until i have that basket of blankets i will not rest. each additional row i complete on my crochet blanket brings me that much closer.

and clothing fits into this indefinable desire, too. i’ve found that--while it’s fun when i work hard on matching outfits for the herd and they have a special place or day to wear what i’ve done—it’s somehow just as enjoyable to me to see the things i’ve made them simply pulled from the closet in normal rotation.

does that make sense?

that the simple fact of it being no big deal to put on a dress mommy made is flattering to me. it’s just an accepted fact of life to them. oh, this dress? yeah, my mom made it.
we had friends sleeping over not that long ago—2 extra girlies, each who needed a dress to wear on sunday morning. and when they all came out of the room dressed to the 9’s, 5 of the 6 girls in our care that day were wearing garments i’d made. not because i’d made them or told them to wear that particular dress, but because they’d scanned the closet, surveyed the options, and chose that one.

and i loved that.

so on that note, maybe i can get myself motivated to finish up tomorrow’s post. which, surprise! is about a dress. for my littlest monkey.

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and then there’s brain worm #2. something i read at another blog, which i again can’t remember, that stuck with me.
she said if you think about it you get 18 summers with your children. that’s it. and she was on a quest to make sure each one was fun and special.

it really struck me, you know. because—let’s be real here, you’re not getting 18 summers with your kids. by 15 and 16 they probably have their own plans and summer jobs keeping them busy 90% of the time. so what is it? 13? 14?

and follow that out—14 winters. 14 springs. 14 falls. that you truly, truly have them in your hands. it goes so, soo fast. crazy fast.

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i have a 12 year old. so by that logic i have 2 or 3 good summers left with her.

IMG_2740_edited-1(and if she’s anything like her mother by 18 she’ll be hearing wedding bells!) 

have i done what i need to do? have i taught what i need to teach? time is so short.
this isn’t anything new or revolutionary. obviously we know how much time we have to teach our children.

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but it’s not always the deep and profound that’s necessary. sometimes all you need it a simple statement of fact.

another summer has passed. it is now done. it was my 12th, 10th, 8th, 3rd, and 2nd summer with each of my children, respectively.
was it what i wanted?
did i do it well?
did we make memories?
what did they learn?

IMG_2619IMG_2620she learned which is the business end of the watermelon. check that off the list.

it helps. it helps me stop and think: the clock is ticking. do i want my children’s memories of this day, and in turn this week, and in turn this season—to be of what is happening right now?

IMG_2733_edited-2i’m not entirely sure we’re getting through to this one. even with 30 summers.

are the words i’m using the words i want to hear mirrored back to me?
am i helping my son become a good man?
my daughters good women?

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intensely learning to make embroidery floss friendship bracelets. a very important life skill.

now is the time to think about it. because now so soon becomes then and it’s all over.

enjoy your monday.

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