Wednesday, February 4, 2015

sunshine can spoil a girl



Sunshine can spoil a girl.  And then she's gone and it's another gray, damp, full February day.  Work is full, housework even more so and she can tell you the exact contents of her fridge in an attempt to use every last bit of food before she has to go to the store again.  She negotiates with her children, soaks lentils, pulls out the rice cooker again, frozen chicken thighs, again.  Soon it's almost eight and the children still have to finish their bath, brush their teeth, read their books.  The night feels like a long, slow loop, every night she's a bit more exhausted than the last. 

Perhaps it's more of a challenge when her sister, Sunshine, is back in the land of swaying palms, of eternal seventies, far, far away, again.  The winterless, dry lands, the mama and papa lands, lands of oceans and spices and rosemary always in bloom, always free.  Here she spends another four ninety nine, checks to see where this little package was birthed.  California, indeed. 

She's a dweller of this mountain valley now, such a fixture, sweet Jumbo a guiding light.  But when there's Sunshine and her Mini, their dance moves and carefree smiles, their go-with-the-flow and ridiculous cases of the giggles, it's harder to embrace the long, dark days, the frozen ground and colorless views.  It's a come down, after all that sun, another shift in perspective.

For now, she holds on to Sunshine's voice and photos, the plans they've schemed late night.  She holds on to the way her girl is so patient with her little cousin, the way her boy was all fierce possession and staunch beliefs.  She holds on to Mini's renditions of show tunes, her cadence and ridiculous rhythm.  She holds on to husband home soon, after so many late nights, so many dinners and clean-ups alone.  Maybe that's what this is all about.  Embracing how isolating it can all be, the heavy mist and spoiled counters and family far, far away. 






Tuesday, January 27, 2015

january soak in

 

January is melting before us.  Yesterday found 50 degrees and melted snow.  Solomon said the hills looked like the African Savannah.  He says all sorts of things like this these days.

We've had an extra dose of q.t. the past few days as he's been out with the flu.  It's silly the little routines that we get into.  Or how I watch my energy/creativity/productivity level fluctuate from day to day without factoring work into the equation.  I feel a bit like we're on our own little planet.  A planet of cough syrups and snot rags, strange conversations and random cooking projects.  I'd be a funny little homemaker if this was my full time gig. 

Because he's sick, he hasn't been able to have his normal physical contact with his sister.  My favorite part about this is the air hugs that they give each other.  They are really cool. 

It's always fun to upload pictures when you live in Montana.  You can see how quickly the weather shifts and the landscape right along with it.  While I do appreciate the hunkering down of snow, I have to say I really appreciate the energy that the sunshine brings. 

On Thursday sissy and Maz arrive.  I'm kinda beside myself with excitement.  Mazzy really wants to build a snowman.  We shall see if we can still scrape some white stuff together. 





Monday, January 12, 2015

grounded and steady


They ground me, my children.  I've always been so prone to over-activity, to a packed schedule, to running and running and running some more.  It's what I've known.  What I do.

When we were in Mexico, the pace was so chill.  The days unfolded - a simple variation of sleepy meals, games, beach, swim, repeat.  I never asked anyone to move quickly.  I never placed a demand on myself beyond what I felt like doing.  I read in the mornings.  I played gin rummy with the kids over breakfasts.  I didn't push myself to exercise or write or reflect.  I didn't have to do all of the things that I need to do when life gets hectic to stay grounded.  I was there.  I just had to move with natural grace, with acute listenings.

I've been back a week, and I'm settling.  My life is full and social and rich and layered.  The days are packed  and, sometimes, I have to move quickly.  I have to move others quickly.  There is no space for unfolding.  Shit has to happen and now. 

But I'm starting to realize something.  My natural rhythms in Mexico, on vacation, or retreat or on a long hike alone in the woods, don't have to be totally foreign in my daily life.  That grounding that comes from going slow is what my kiddos want from me all the time.  They want books and presence and long baths and unhurried evenings.  They want me when I'm relaxed and content and just there to enjoy them.  We have this capacity, together, to reach this new state of bliss.  They are logical, clear beings.  We are no longer at the mercy of nap schedules or feedings or witching hours.  Solomon can think somewhat rationally, doesn't freak the heck out for no reason, can get it.  It's a new day for our family and we are so utterly smitten with our grace.



That seems to be the biggest gift from our trip.  We are all just pretty darn in love with one another.  Jeff and I just can't stop talking about how cool the two of them are.  We hung together like champs, over oceans, across hot sands, through long, loud nights of roosters and thumping, Mexican bass.  We lazed in a daze of timelessness - there was no regard for bedtime, no regard for schedules or plans.  When we were tired, we slept.  We were allowed this sort of wishy-washiness.  Nobody expected anything of us and, therefore, we were able to give of ourselves so freely.

Tonight I chose to stay home with my kids.  All my friends and their kids were together.  I was invited.  It's Monday.  I knew in my gut that they needed to have a quiet night.  They are snotty and a bit wan, their skin itchy after a week back in the mountains.  Of course I wanted to see my ladies, I wanted my kids to be a part of the wild pack tearing around the house.  But this is not what I needed.  I needed my quiet home.  I needed a long bath and my book.  I needed to settle in a bit before I have to do it all again. 

I'm trying to listen and, in listening, learn a bit.