So much to write about, so little time. Mostly, want to write about the amazing snowstorm that started yesterday sometime between supper and dessert, as the miserably chilly rain that had been falling steadily all day turned to luscious heavy wet snowflakes, and the world was transformed. I had to go out in it. If I’d been a child, I would have romped and made snowballs, but walking in it was pretty sweet too. Sweet. Uh-oh. I am using my eldest son’s vocab. You know what I mean. What drew me was the habit of this past winter’s nightly walk–when I was pregnant and our house was under renovation and that walk grounded me. What a difference a little snow makes on a November world. The bare trees were clothed again in fairy-tale fluff. And just like last winter, though I started the walk wondering what it could possibly bring me beyond simple exercise, by the end I felt renewed, calmed, my mind wide open. There is something about the body being in motion that allows the mind to wander at ease, to seek and to find, to be soothed.
All of this was made possible by Kevin doing the supper dishes, and CJ going to sleep relatively early, and the big kids playing quietly in their rooms. Thanks, all.
Right now I’m baking cookies for Apple-Apple’s birthday party, which will be upon us in mere hours. The butterfly theme has been easy to work with, and Apple-Apple decorated her own cake with candies and frosting–she made a beautiful butterfly and flower scene that I seriously couldn’t have come close to creating. We’re going to decorate butterfly wings, have a scavenger hunt, attempt to make butter, have a butterfly play, and who knows what else. It’s been a solid family effort to plan and organize, and only a little bit of sibling jealousy flaring now and again.
Okay, buzzer’s buzzed. Time’s up.
Voice getting worse. I can now barely squeak, which is frankly quite a disadvantage with these children to round up and boss around. Heh. It is very frustrating to have to whisper things like, “Please don’t play in the leaves on the road!”
Baby CJ is playing with Little People and a pink pretty pony, sitting on the floor behind me, and F is having a playdate here with her best friend, but for some reason there seems to be more conflict between them this morning–and I’m having trouble helping problem solve. They just stare blankly at me as I hoarsely murmur, “You need to share with your guest,” and other anodyne suggestions. Last playdate they played for an hour with a couple of raggy Polly Pockets and Polly Pocket debris, alone, without a word of disagreement.
Whoops, I’m losing baby CJ. He is crawling out of the toyroom and toward the stairs. I must figure some way to get him out of our bed at night. Somehow we’ve gotten into this unbreakable pattern of nighttime nursing, after which CJ refuses to go back to his own bed in the middle of the night, but screams and howls till I give in and return him to our bed, which is cozy and warm and has a permanently open snack-bar, so, really, I don’t blame him for wanting to hang out with us. But it’s taking a toll. I’m always waking in awkward positions, not to mention I’m always waking. In my experience, things have to get really very bad before I’m ready to make a drastic change, and my resistance and conviction are extremely weak at 3 in the morning. Downright anemic. I wonder what it’s going to take.
Kiddo has had it. Must change a diaper and try to get him down for a little nap, so we can make some muffins and hang some laundry.
Back. Baby asleep, girls playing beautifully. They just needed a change of scenery–upstairs an improvement on down.
Two tidbits from recent Globe and Mails struck a chord with me:
One was from Saturday’s paper, on cities which have car-free downtown cores (they were all European or Northern European, though apparently Montreal tried it for ten weeks this past summer, and a couple of big American cities are considering it). The planner who initiated this in Norway said that people are happier, more content, when their feet can touch the ground. As someone who has made walking part of our family’s lifestyle, that really resonated. Not that I don’t like a long-distance roadtrip with the iconography that accompanies that kind of journey. But for short hauls, nothing compares to putting one foot in front of the other. That connection to the earth.
The second item was a blurb in the Life section about the pleasures of hanging clothes to dry. It stated that some people (gasp!) actually prefer hanging their laundry to dry, not just because of the energy savings or because they’re eco-freaks, but because the task itself is very satisfying. Yes, yes, yes. Being outdoors, listening to birdcalls, hearing squirrels rustle the leaves, the patient task of shaking and clipping and pushing the line out over the yard … apparently others find this soothing too. Though I just heard on the radio that a mixture of rain and damp snow is in the forecast for today, so I’ll have to make-do with my indoor drying system. Brrr. The walk to school this morning felt a little bit like purgatory, with this chilly wind blowing against us. (Is purgatory cold?) But still preferable to strapping children into car seats, then unstrapping, and still having to run through the bleeding cold wind to achieve the final destination. If you walk everywhere, you’re much better prepared for the weather.
Snacktime now. Buttered bread and apples. And for me, more of my garlic-ginger brew, with apologies to all in breathing distance.