A new take on this tired ol' blog.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Life with toddlers and babies does not give itself to writing very much. Even less, life with toddlers and babies and a new business in the house. All require constant care, overwhelming care, care that by its very nature always falls a little short of my ideal. We're scraping along, managing to keep everyone fed and clothed and the house from falling into the Filth Abyss, but just barely. So there's no time for the writing I'd like to do, the NaNoWriMos and NaBloPoMos and daily updates and hometown tourism writing and such that's lurking in the back of my mind. Someday, perhaps, but not just now.

But. I do want to record something of my life. This first year with Q has slipped by in a flash-- we've endured a birth defect, an operation, a nasty scalp infection, a lack of weight gain, a lot of things. And I have very little of my writing to show him about his first year. I have yet to write out his birth story; I don't know when I'll get around to creating pretty scrapbook pages that tell the story. I haven't written this month about G's glee the first time Q rolled a ball back toward her after she rolled it to him. I've not told you about his first word: "out,' he said softly, as he reached for me in his carseat. I have no pictures or videos of the adorable way he speaks, softly, out of the side of his mouth sometimes, a sweet soft baby with a John Wayne twist to his lips.

It's ironic that I have so little time to write when everyday life is so tip-top full with beautiful moments to write about. I think about all that writing I did when I was single, and then married and childless, soul-searching, restless, often unhappy writing, documenting what now seems like a fairly empty life. Now that my every moment is full, that my babies are changing and growing and making me laugh every single day, I am not recording it. How upside-down that is.

So. I'm going to try something new, something I think will help me record snippets of my life: my everchanging children, my everhealing husband, the home I love and want to nurture and design and craft.

I've been reading Ann VosKamp's words at aholyexperience.com for a couple of years now. Sometimes I stay away for a while, because her eloquence and centeredness and the simple beauty of her life can stir a sense of inadequacy if I'm not feeling good about myself. But when I return, I'm always overwhelmingly blessed again by her thoughts, her discovery of the unspeakably holy lurking and indwelling the mundane details of motherhood and home life. It's rich stuff, like Carmichael or Elliot is rich to me. She has a project called The Thousand Gifts that is simply this: she challenges us to list one thousand things that stir us to gratitude, little and large moments that find us amazed anew at the Hand that placed them there.

A gratitude journal is no grand new idea; in fact, it's a bit of a faded fad. But I'm going to try this and see where it leads me. (Obviously, my current course is getting me nowhere, writing-wise.)

Without further ado, my first Gifts:

Photobucket1) A little girl who treasures the experience of having something special over the experience of consuming it. She sat tonight at the kitchen table, her small heap of Halloween candy spread out in a pile, and gleefully shaped it. "Mommy, it's a Candy Tree! It's a circle!"... and simply could not decide which piece to eat for dessert. After a great deal of time, and a fair amount of maternal pressure to please Make A Decision So We Can Get On With The Evening, she carefully selected a package of Whoppers... and gave me four pieces during the process that she wanted me to have. What generosity of spirit, what a joyful little steward she may be one day.

love this grin.2) A little boy who wriggles in paroxysms of delight whenever his sister swoops down to interact with him. She may tug on his head, push at him, pull blankets over his face, steal his toy, bounce him too roughly in his jumper... and until the moment that he is either getting hurt or is absolutely terrified, he will beam and squeal and huh-huh-huh giggle just with the joy of having her attention. What good friends they are going to be.

3) A new laptop that makes me want to write and create again, that seems to open up all kinds of creative possibilities. A hard drive that's all mine, to fill with pictures and writing and design and research of whatever I please. And the doting husband who gently insisted that I have a Macbook instead of the less expensive PCs I would have chosen for myself, who finds such joy in giving me such an extravagant gift. Just wow.

That was fun to write. I want to keep doing this...


k-brow Says:

7:35 PM

Your Birdgirl is SO beautiful! Really. I don't think I've ever seen a pic of her. Boy's cute, too. I like the new idea for the blog. Looking forward to reading more of you.

Oh yeah, a link to a homeschooling blog I really do like a lot:


Not a lot of how-to's on her site, but more a journal of her process and her life. Still good to read, though.

Happy November.

joelle Says:

9:44 PM

aww... so adorable! I look forward to reading more about such lovely gifts

Angie Says:

10:02 PM

This was a great post. I'm looking forward to reading more of this from you. And, beautiful children. Just beautiful.

Mean Puppies Inc. Says:

6:09 PM

I feel like Annalise's first year has slipped by in a flash too! I'm always feeling like I am not paying enough attention to her, not staring at her face enough, not talking to her like I did to Caleb. I feel like out of necessity (i.e. a big brother who seems to constantly need my attention and has the vocabulary to get it), I have pushed her into independence way to early. If I wasn't so busy cleaning pee out of the couch or food off the walls, I think it might make me sad.

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