Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Children Are Ruining My Life and Other Wonderful Blessings

It's looking like spring around here.  See what I found in my cold frame?

Lettuce, spinach, chives, cilantro, dill.  We'll have salad soon, and it's only March!

I walked around with Andrew and looked at the green things poking up and then I noticed all the things that needed doing in the garden and herb beds.

But Andrew didn't want Mommy to clean out the flower beds, he wanted Mommy to hold him and walk around in the fresh air and sunshine and show him all the new and interesting things.

So I did.  It was lovely.  And then when I didn't want him to be in the sun any longer for fear of burning his delicate baby skin, I put him on a blanket in the shade of the doorway (did I mention that our temps were in the 70's today?  It's absolutely crazy for March in Michigan!) and let him watch me while I clipped about one plant before he started to cry for me to pick him up again.  So much for cleaning out the flower beds.

I can remember when I was in school, as soon as the weather started warming up, it became very hard to focus on school work.  I only wanted to go outside and ramble around in the sunshine.  I was fortunate to be at a very small parochial school where I actually could take my school work outside and find a sunny spot to sit and read.  I loved that.

We're spending lots of time outside now, and somehow I think we'll have to make the yard our school room because I can't see how we're going to get any school done with weather like this and all the other work to do.  Does planting peas count as school?  It did yesterday.

Of course we have to buckle down and get through our books, but it can be so hard when the little guys want to be involved, too.  I know-- this is every homeschooling mother's lament.  How to do school with babies and toddlers around?  They do school, too, of course!

But their school is considerably more chaotic.   This morning I parked Andrew in the swing and Evan was off playing something interesting (like unrolling entire rolls of toilet paper, throwing silverware in the trash, or writing on himself with a marker) and Jonah and I got out the books.  We didn't even get half-way through our Bible story before Evan was in my lap.  One paragraph later, Evan was tormenting Andrew and making him squawk until the Bible story could no longer be heard.  And chaos ensued.

How can I ever get anything done?  I feel like I spin my wheels all day, every day.  Clean up messes, wipe butts.  Feed people, wipe more butts.  That is the essence of my existence.

I make plans to sew curtains, declutter the storage room, make baby-books, finish website projects, etc., etc., etc, but there are butts to wipe.

Believe it or not, I also have personal education goals.  Yes, that's right, because I love to learn and one should never stop learning.  I want to make art, make music, read books.  And I do!  A minute here, a paragraph there.  My reading list gets longer.  Right now I'm working on Nature's Numbers: The Unreal Reality of Mathematics, Every Woman's Guide to Foot Pain Relief, and The Mood Cure.  My copy of the TJed Home Companion should arrive any day. I'm also reading to Jonah Man of the Family .  And on my piano sits The Big Book of Classical Music, where I can sit and play a few bars at a time while the baby slobbers on my leg and the toddler hits the high notes and Jonah taps a beat (oh, so very helpful) with a pencil.  Because if I want my children to want to play music, I have to play music for them.

Isn't that amazing?  If I do the things I love --reading interesting things, playing music, growing food-- they will want to learn, too!  I have the best job in the world.  I can do the things that I love --if I can eek out the time for them-- and inspire the next generation all at the same time.  (Of course, I also have to work my tail off on very little sleep, but let's be positive, shall we?)

I wouldn't have it any other way.  This afternoon after spending some time getting my fractious baby settled for a nap, I just sat for a few minutes and watched him sleep.  I wondered about who he is and thought how amazing it is that I get to find out just who these little people are and watch them become who they will be and teach them along the way.  It's at the same time terrifying and exhilarating.

I wouldn't trade it for all the spare time in the world.

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