Archive for February, 2012


this morning we baked (our slightly adapted version of) elana’s chocolate prune bars.  while they were in the oven we packed up our backpacks with a few things so we could head out on a walk.  the kids each had a bowl of just peas while we waited for the timer to ring.  then we headed out.  i have learned finally, after almost six years, that going for a walk with the kids doesn’t feel anything like what i think a walk is.  i am making peace with it.

the bean carried with him one drawing book, one package of crayons, one usborne ocean book, one silly putty in egg and his water bottle.  the pea carried the same but no book and two silly putty’s.  i carried a drawing book and crayons, my knitting project, a blanket, my water bottle, pistacio’s, cut up apples, dried mango, a few wipes, a pack of the berry ricola (for emergencies only) and my phone.  we walked a short ways and then they asked to set up our blanket to rest.  they asked for nibble bites.  we sat and snacked, the bean looked at this book, they took out their silly putty and played with it.  castle james and one of my mom’s dogs had followed us and they worked at exploring the woods that surrounded the field we sat in and circling back to check in with us.  it is a warm day with a breeze and it felt idyllic to sit there.  quiet.  outside.  surrounded by mostly nothing.  we didn’t draw, i didn’t knit, we just kind of sat there happy.

last night while i was getting dinner ready both kids were deep in the when, where why’s.  that constant battery of questioning that seems to happen so frequently now.  “when is gran gran coming in from the barn?  when is she going to her friends house?  why is she going to her friend’s house?  what are we having for dinner?  what is in that pot?  what was that noise?  when will that be ready?  when will gran gran come in from the barn?  where is she going tonight?  why is she going somewhere?  what are we doing tomorrow?”  sometimes they just cycle through the same three questions over and over.  sometimes i answer them, sometimes i say “i wonder…” or “i don’t know…”  sometimes i say, “please stop asking me questions!”  last night i looked at the clock and it was 5:06.  i said, “i am not going to talk until the clock has the numbers 5, 1 and 0.  when you see those numbers on the clock i will speak again but until then i need to be silent.”

i kept cooking.  they stared at the clock and talked about what numbers they saw.  i waited for the moment someone was going to whine at me that they needed me.  i waited for the moment that they started to have a fight and i had to break my silence to help them work it.  i waited for my strange and unplanned attempt at a moment of peace to be rudely interrupted.  but it held.  then it was 5:11 and they noticed and i said, “let’s try for 5, 1, 5.”  they did that too.  they talked to each other but let me stay quiet.  i breathed.  i cooked chickpea saffron soup.  i drank my peppermint water.  at 5:15 i shelved my need for silence and dove back in.

on the walk today the bean is asking me questions about biting ants and needs to hold my hand.  we meander down the sandy path in the south carolina woods.  the pea is stomping along confidently and grabs his other hand.  she assures him we are safe and he pads along between us.  a few moments later she gets her small feet tangled up in a branch on the path, he holds tightly to her hand so she doesn’t fall.  “good save bean,” she thanks him, “good save!”  my heart swells in my chest.  the breeze blows gently past us.

its funny this life spent with my children.  where my whole days revolve around them.  where the moments rise and fall from adoration and heart breaking happiness through irritation and near insanity.  and how every morning we snuggle up in bed when we first wake up and that is how i find my way to doing it all again.



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we are in aiken (s.c.) on our annual visit to spend time with my mom and the horses/donkeys/dogs on their winter mini-farm.  before we left i for some reason imagined that i’d have all this time to spend writing/blogging while i was down there.  i even dreamt up the idea of doing a little every-day-blogger-revisit thing.  but here we are, six days into our stay, and i am sitting down to tap the keys of my old laptop for the first time.

today we went to the new playground built next to the aiken library.  it is a really nice playground with that soft kind of rubber stuff underneath the whole play area and lots of things to climb and slide down.  but, i have been somehow reshaped by our life choices in moving towards spending time in the woods and playing on fallen logs and giant rocks.  i can see that this is a lovely playground all new and clean but the insanely bright colors and plastic african drum replica’s just feel odd to me.  the kids do enjoy it for about thirty minutes but then we are all ready to go.  i am not sure what to make of it.  i want to be aware but not stuck in my ways.  i want to embrace playing in the woods without becoming a snob about the whole thing.

there is a little boy at the park who is desperate for playmates.  he follows us around from the moment we arrive, first kind of growling and screaming and then launching himself in our general direction.  his mom is sitting at the far edge of the park area on a blanket reading a book.  at first i want him to just leave us alone.  i can see that the pea is unhappy that he is coming into our space and i don’t like how he is acting.  but i can see plainly that he is not going anywhere.  i take a deep breath and i close my eyes for a moment until i can see him surrounded by light.  it helps, we learn his name and take turns running between the tree and the bench.  but still, his behavior is erratic compared to my kids and he is talking a lot about things burning and exploding.  i can feel bean is wanting social interaction with another child but also trying to feel his way around how to handle this particular kid.  i can feel that he is sensing how i am to help him get a read. i notice i have moved into “waldorf kindy program teacher assistant” mode and i am trying to hold this little energy boat we are on steady.  before things can get more intense we decide to leave.  on the walk back to the car i know i want to speak to how that was somehow.  how it was different than seeing their friends at home.  how he was talking and acting in ways that they did not quite understand.  but, again, i don’t want to say something negative and i don’t want to try to use words to explain something that doesn’t need explaining.  we walk towards the car holding hands – silent.

then i say, “all kids are different.”

and beanie says, “yeah.”

and the pea says, “yeah there is beanie, and then me and that boy – all different.”


then it is all over and we buckle into our seats and drive home.  to the place that bean calls, “our south carolina house,” even though i have tried to tell him it is not ours.


at home we eat oatcakes (one of several recipes i have enjoyed trying out from heidi swanson’s super natural everyday cookbook which my mom got for herself to have down here) and i drink more tea.  then we head out to play in the backyard.






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