Category: Play

Open

Okay. So, the reading. It was such a gift to speak those words out loud, to share them. It made me want to finish the Juliet Stories, and share the rest, too, collected altogether into something coherent and complete. The more I’ve reflected on memoir versus fiction, the less it seems that one needs to eclipse the other. Both can exist. Each would be a different creation, and there’s enough material to go around. I’ll barely touch it in one, or the other. Because the stories are so near completion, my plan is to return there first, and finish those. Any publishers out there short on beautiful story collections? Call me. Heh. Pretty sure I know the answer to that. But, the reading reminded me that these are strong stories, worthy of being published.
Open. That’s my state of being these days. Open, not closed. Look at those kids playing in our backyard. They ran outside after school yesterday, despite the chill, and imagined themselves a thousand different places and things. You couldn’t be more open than that.
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Oh, and a late edit addition: just discovered this post on the reading by the musician who played for us that evening. His name is Alex James, and he played us an evening’s worth of sweet homegrown tunes. When we clapped, he said, no, please, I’m just the background music! Well, background or foreground … he gave us the perfect soundtrack to a really fine evening.

Paper Houses

Things were not going well. Despite paper doll houses and painting projects at the dining-room table. Some of us have been inside for three days straight. Some of us felt like throwing our heads back and howling.
What’s that you say? Out there in the big wide world? Today is not freezing, or windy, or rainy? The sun is shining? I could hang the laundry?! Boots on, door open, fresh air, improved moods. Especially mine.

Better Than Television

Here’s what’s happening in our yard this morning. Add in the sounds of the children yelling over the chipper, and you get the full picture.
Below, our Monday evening activity. Also better than television. Add in a popsicle and a scrounged-up frozen chocolate chip cookie or two, and Kevin’s soccer-playing night looks a whole lot more fun for this Mama.

More Less-Stress Tea, Por Favor

Alright, I’ll admit it, we’ve been bored. What am I doing wrong here? We have the scheduled activities, the swim lessons that eat up the better part of the morning, with bike riding and snacks included. And this afternoon we have the playdates to coincide with naptime. We have the free play, open permission to upturn chairs and couch cushions, to layer blankets, to strew about toys. We have library books. We have siblings. We have bread baking mornings and cookie baking afternoons. We have an enviable backyard. We have day trips planned and accomplished. And yet, and yet … We have back-talking, complaints about the service and the food, we have biting and kicking and general restless rolling about, we have nagging and ignoring and tears. I wonder how homeschoolers manage this. In theory, I’m all for a bit of necessary boredom. In theory, it should push us toward creative solutions; and sometimes does nudge the children toward playing together, and making up their own games; but just as often, in practice, boredom seems to breed conflict. It’s like, with nothing better to occupy the human mind, inventing some trouble is a satisfying interim solution. I see this played out in miniature all day long, and frankly, it grows a little tiresome. Can’t we all just get along? I ask. And am treated to, at best, blank stares, and at worst, piercing moans of misery, wails of “it’s not fair.”
On a separate but not unrelated note, in reflecting on our recent family “holiday,” I’d like to use my friend Marnie’s rather brilliant phrase: such adventures shouldn’t so much be called family holidays, as family “experiences.” Yup. That about sums it up. “Holiday” is a word overloaded with expectations, none of which are remotely fulfillable with four children in tow. (Relaxing, rejuvenating, restful … uh, no, no, and no). “Experience” on the other hand … now that’s the truth! And it’s not a bad thing, either, the family experience, especially when it’s not trying to be something it’s not. Our recent family experience was all the things you might expect it to be: busy, rife with detours, noisy, active, mosquito-bitten, containing mysterious ailments, brief respites, good food, necessary disciplinary tactics, all in all a touch of the arduous and a touch more of ardour. Good times.
I’ve been writing this whilst overseeing two playdates, ear to the naptime baby monitor, bread baking in the oven, and my interruptions have included: tossing snacks at hungry children, sandbox mediation, and a young man in construction garb at the front door to inform me our water will be shut off for the better part of tomorrow and Friday.
Thank goodness for this cup of “Less-Stress Tea” (courtesy Homestead Herbals at Little City Farm, via Nina’s buying club).

Morning o’ Boredom

The weather isn’t cooperating with my great Outdoors Summer Plan. So we’re getting into trouble indoors instead. Actually, I think that’s okay. Things picked up after this, at least briefly, and for some of us. CJ maintained a non-stop screeching, complaining riff (could be the new tooth pressing against the gum), but the big kids dragged themselves off the floor to play Jr. Monopoly together. We ate what amounted to lunch. I had a cup of coffee. Could be worse. Boredom is good for the soul, in the small tolerable doses, that is. Pushes its sufferers toward creativity. One hopes.
I’ve had requests for my granola and quiche recipes, so will post those at some point in the near future. Meanwhile, it’s Siesta Time. What am I doing standing here typing?

The Upside to Construction

Weekends the noise stops, and the digging, and the beep-beep-beeping, and the dust settles, and all is quiet at our little corner of urbanity. Time to hang the clothes on the line. Time to get out the wheeled devices. Time to fly.
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