Thursday, September 11, 2014
First Days, Birthdays, and New Things
We have had a full few weeks, as I imagine many of you have. A couple of birthdays (happy birthday, Zosia, Dad, and Irene!), a couple of visits from family, one pulled tooth, several school preparations, one school blessing, and one first day of school, along with a stomach bug (no thank you!) and a case of the sniffles thrown in for good measure. As much as I like to think of myself as the laid back sort of individual who effortlessly adapts to changes and transitions, I am a creature of habit. I love the book The Hobbit, not for the cliffhanging adventures that define the tale, but for the placid domestic scenes at the beginning and end. A cup of tea and a hobbit hole sound about right to me. So it's really only now, after the dust of all of these new things has settled, that I can look around, take a deep breath, and start to see that I am surrounded by many wonderful things.
We are getting used to our new rhythm. Purposeful mornings spent preparing for our days ahead, some focused time with Hugo while the babies nap, and then a big chunk of time to embark upon some little adventure, or just relax and pinch baby thighs. Afternoon snacks and homework time, dinner preparations, and some very treasured time with the big girls after the littlest three are asleep.
The girls adore school, which is wonderful, and we love hearing all about it. The transition has been seemingly effortless for both for them, and they delight in their new friends, new teachers, new lessons.
Hugo has celebrated the beginning of a year spent at home by potty training and very happily assuming the role of occasional only child. He will wake up and ask if maybe he could have breakfast in bed? Or maybe we could make play dough, or muffins, or whatever else his little heart desires. I say yes to every thing within reason, because a little boy is only three for so long.
The babies have celebrated the beginning of school by growing three (Clara) or four (Dorothy) new teeth apiece overnight. They are eager to connect and communicate. Clara eagerly signs and says "All done!" at the end of a meal, while Dorothy is more likely to sign "more" while saying "Mamamama!" Clara's favorite catch phrase is "I did it!" which she screams while smiling. I am certain she has no idea what it means, but until she does, I suggest we all keep her away from a courtroom. Dorothy, on the other hand, prefers to stick to "Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah!" which she says with equal conviction. They eat what seems like a huge amount of food, possibly because they have good appetites, and possibly because there are two of them! A typical meal might be yogurt mixed with mashed banana and oatmeal, a cup of cheerios, a diced peach, and some cubes of cheese. They would be quite happy to just finger feed themselves in entirety, but we feed them the messy stuff.
I have started to see that as my children start to go out to have their own adventures outside of the house, my job as a mother is increasingly centered around making our home a place of rest for them. My hours with them may be more limited, but I hope that they will be filled with enough love, warmth, and nurturing energy to sustain them when they are away. I am hoping that over the coming weeks I will come to see what this looks like, and how I can do it better.
The girls' school year started with a beautiful school blessing: an evening to meet teachers and classmates, and spend a moment reflecting on the coming year through prayer and words. This prayer for parents from that blessing has been cut out of the program and placed on our refrigerator, because I hope to recite it often. I thought you might enjoy it, too.
Prayer for the Parents
Heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of our children. We pray that we can be strengthened by you to love them with the love of Christ, who tenderly received them and gladly welcomed their presence. Give us light and grace to so nurture and challenge them that they may love whatsoever is true and pure and beautiful and of good report. Remove from our homes every root of bitterness, seed of despair, habit of hurry and pride of life. Make our homes sanctuaries of peace, rest, love and joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.