Monday, August 15, 2011

at home where we belonged

Today it rained and being indoors with four children for the day humbled me.

I am a big advocate of 'preaching' on the idea of being at home, in your home, having simple days with young children at home (do you see the them here?). I do so believe that young children do not need to be carted around hither and yon running errands, walking around stores while their parents shop for useful (and many non-useful items), visiting each and every area attraction 'designed for children', and having playtime with countless numbers of friends each and every day.

This sort of 'busyness' is often meeting a need in the adult rather than truly considering what the child needs. As I have wrote about before... being busy is awfully exciting!

I believe that home is the best environment for young children- and by young I mean under the age of nine or so. I know that a steady, peaceful, secure, reliable, joyful, creative and beautiful home environment with predictable daily, weekly and yearly rhythms is the ideal place for a child to thrive.

I know this. I believe this.

But today I just felt like escaping.

The incessant rain, the humidity that curled and frizzed my hair beyond recognition, the damp feeling of my floors on my feet that made my skin crawl, the gray sky that darkened my home into a gloomy shade of blah, and the physical need of four children to move their bodies and boom their voices made me want to pack everyone up in the car and drive somewhere else.

The problem was that there was no where better for us to be. I couldn't make peace with the idea of taking them into a store simply to escape our home and get a 'quick fix' from the new, bright and exciting surroundings. Been there, done that (in fact, that was my preferred method of escapism for the first few years of my motherhood journey). It would end in unnecessary money being spent and the inevitable return to what I was trying to escape.

We had already visited the library earlier this morning. Our cupboards were stocked with food. My parents are away on vacation. There was literally no where else to transfer our situation to.

This is typically where the disconnect in my life occurs- in those tiny spaces between ideas and reality. I am a lover of ideas and can easily get obsessed and distracted by an ideal, concept or culture that appeals to me. But sometimes when it is time to live out those ideals, I fall short. In fact I often don't get beyond the idea.

Today showed me that being at home, living simply, avoiding commercialism as a form of entertainment and dragging small children about town for MY OWN AMUSEMENT simply is not an option for me. This is a principle that I want to live out for the sake of my children.

So today I chose to remain at home.

So, do you want to know what the blessing was in return? A day of simple pleasures, consistency, needs met with love and content little ones.

Today I...

sat down to a pancake breakfast with all four children... it was sticky and delicious and buttery and warm
went through two tablecloths from spilled milk
had quiet read aloud time inside while the rain pattered outside
sharpened and put our favorite colored pencils to good use... everyone from toddler to mother (purchased at a local thrift store for $.99)
gave my toddler a good solid nap in his own bed
talked about the irony of vanilla bean speckles being black

practiced drawing grids and bricks with my eight year old son
sang a few French songs together
watched my children build forts in our newly-cleaned garage

witnessed my ten year old put her bonnet on for the first time since last fall
made a really big pan of garlicky green beans and realized that they might be my favorite vegetable
read a bit about Isabel of Spain

called my Nana
sat down to a clean kitchen and lots of blanket and quilts laundered tonight
chose a Latin book to use this year in our homeschool

1 comment:

Jill said...

sounds perfect. I know that agitated feeling well and the relief that comes eventually. sounds like a great day after all.