Thursday, August 14, 2014

Letting Go

Well, clearly I never got over being tired this summer.  I haven't posted in nearly two months.  I fully believe our life is beautiful, but this summer was not the greatest or most enjoyable "phase" of our marriage and family life.  Trust be told, I adore my husband.  He's helpful, caring, smart, good lookin', and overall it's a real advantage in life to have him around.  Only seeing him on the weekends just doesn't cut it for the kids and me.  We love him.

BUT, tomorrow he's back for good.  Wow.  We survived and grew and stretched ourselves in new ways.  And I suppose those are all good things.  But I still firmly believe families are better off together than apart and I'm glad we go back to being together tomorrow.

I'm going to try to put a positive spin on a more trying phase of life though - one thing this summer taught me personally was when to let go.  I get really up tight about a lot of things - nutrition, education, media, parenting, etc.  This summer I was forced to simplify life down to what really matters.  We ate a few more boxes of Annie's Mac and Cheese.  The kids watched a little more TV (thank God for Netflix - Daniel Tiger whenever we need it saved my sanity on a few occasions).  Our kids are now registered to attend a solid preschool later this month.  I yelled more than I would have liked, but we also snuggled more than usual.  I spent more time on facebook in an attempt to feel like there was at least some form of adult interaction in my life on a daily basis.

And you know what, life is just fine.  So I might not always bake all of our bread from scratch.  And I might get tired and reach for the easy dinner.  And sometimes I might rely on a TV show to allow me to shower and blow-dry my hair in peace.  And I may not end up homeschooling the kids.  And I might waste entire evenings online (while also painting about half of our apartment though!).  And when it all comes down to it, I might realize I'm even farther from perfect than I originally hoped. 

But my kids are sweet and loving and helpful.  And we all know how deeply we love one another.  And our family will be back together again full time starting tomorrow evening. 

And that right there is all we really need to hold on to in life.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tired

I've had every intent to share bits and pieces of our life multiple times each week over the past few weeks...but by the end of the day when I am able to find the time to sit and write, my inspiration is gone.  I'm just tired.  Oh, so tired.

I've debated sharing the details of our summer on here, since it is public space, but in the end I've decided I am a fan of transparency. 

This summer is wonderful and beautiful and filled with joyous moments...but this summer is also the hardest one our family has known.  Hubby is working out of town all summer - meaning it's just the kids and myself on our own all week, every week.  I know I shouldn't complain.  Military families do long separations (much longer than ours and without weekends) all the time.  Single parents balance life with kids and no other adult around to help.  And still other families are all to familiar with having one parent work out of town for extended periods of time.

But this is completely new for us.  And things that are new, tend to be hard. 

Hubby and I have never done "long distance".  Even when we were dating, the only summer we didn't live in the same town was the first summer we were dating.  At that point we were so early in the game that it wasn't that big of a deal.  We just do togetherness, everyday, all year long.  And we like it that way.  I like having him around to help with the kids, share my life with, and even to piss me off.

So, here we are, several weeks into a long, tiresome but still good summer.  I'm in the midst of a major painting project (which I will share when it is complete, but until then I just want to share that I am over it and ready to spend my evenings sipping wine and watching TV).  The kids are needier than ever - the "watch me!" requests that used to be fulfilled by two parents are now all falling on me, while at the same time everything else is on me too.  I cannot fall asleep by myself.  Basically, I just suck at sleeping by myself.  What I would give to fall asleep before midnight.  And even though I spend this past weekend at Sunbridge Institute learning all kinds of inspiring, insightful things about Waldorf education....all I can muster up to share in this space tonight is I'm tired.  Oh, so tired.

So instead of writing about urban foraging, learning how to ride a two wheeler, exploring the many, many natural areas around us, or sharing about our garden, I'll leave you with a few photos that capture some of our best days thus far.  Because no matter how difficult come aspects of life can seem, this journey that we are on is still so beautiful.



 

Friday, June 13, 2014

{ this moment }

I have precious pictures of my children from the past few weeks, but the moment I want to cherish the most was not caught on camera.  It's a moment I want to record in this space, so that I can come back to it years from now and savor this beautiful fragment of a forgotten about, tiresome week.

Today I sat on a chair in my parents' yard and watched the kids climb their young oak tree for over thirty minutes.  Thirty minutes of climbing up and down the tree, memorizing the best pathways up and then down, climbing higher and higher with each successive trip.  The look of pure joy and accomplishment on their faces at what they could now do all on their own.  After one of the most exhausting weeks of my life, it was so refreshing to sit and give my children an audience for awhile - something they have been begging for all week.
 
And it occurred to me how important moments like these are for children and how climbing trees is not only good for their physical well being, but for their cognitive development.  As I watched them I could see how easy it is to find a link between self esteem, ability to think critically, ability to problem solve, and knowledge of your own personal limits to slightly risky outdoor experiences in childhood.  I have to let them take risks and I have to trust that they know their physical limits far better than anyone else ever will, including myself.  Yes, as a mother, it put butterflies in my stomach to see my wild three year old daughter climb well above the height her brother was willing to climb.  But she did it.  And she did it all on her own.  And they both did it amazingly well - feeling out each maneuver, sometimes trying one way, and then backing up to find a better way.  Cautious at first, but faster and more confident as they went.
 
And I was able to slow down and be there, in that moment with both of them.  And for that, I am so grateful.