seth’s shoes fit me

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me, the dog, and seth, looking down at our feet

Let me remind you that Rich and I already have three grown-up children.  They are Jacob (21), Ethan (20), and Grace (18).  They are out of state, in college.  We also have two “middle aged” children David (16), and Caleb (13).

Seth and Sarah are the babies.  Seth (9) and Sarah (8).  babies.

I am fine with having grown up children.  I’m okay with having the middle aged ones, too.  But the babies I have to keep.  They’re mine.  They still get pulled onto my lap at least 2-5 times a week.

Last night it was time for football practice when out of the blue I got hit in the heart by a train.  I had gone into the closet to get my shoes on when I looked down at shoes I had just bought for Seth.  They looked strangely big next to mine.  “No.” I thought.  I lifted my bare foot and slipped it right into Seth’s shoe.

“Seth!  Seth! Come here!” I called.  For a moment it was funny and I knew baby boy would sure be surprised to have feet as big as mine.

But as soon as he walked toward me……I looked at his face…..his eyes looked into mine…..and I opened my mouth to say, “look!”…….when the tears came…..

“Seth!  Look at my feet!”

He looked down, Sarah came running.

“Your shoes fit me!  How do your shoes fit my feet!  Seth!  What’s happening!  Seth!”

“Mom…….you’re crying,” he said gazing with wonder (and half a proud smile), at my face.

“Mom, don’t cry,” laughed Sarah.

I stood there, as they cheerfully comforted me as best they could.

“Mom, your feet are just small!”

“You’re still TALLER than me!”

“Your feet are still BIGGER THAN MINE!”

And, finally,

“Take it off.  So you can stop fussing.”  ~Seth

*****

P.S. When he came home from football practice, he ran right over and sat on the couch next to me, making a big show out of taking off his cleats and socks, proudly lifting each foot, wriggling his toes, looking back and forth from his feet to my face, and making sure I was noticing his big feet and trying to get me to cry again.

something of one’s own

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It’s October.  This morning a soft mild breeze brought down 100 yellow leaves, tossing and turning them before they landed with a papery sound on the driveway.  I saw Walter Kitty looking up, up, up, his head turning this way and that, watching the leaves.  His first autumn.

The way water reflects colorful leaves and sunshine, like a stained glass window, is breathtaking.  Every scene is much lovelier than a video, or painting, or a photograph.  There are no smells of earth, or sounds of nature, in a mere picture.

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“Woman’s life today is tending more and more toward the state William James describes so well in the German word, ‘Zerrissenheit–torn-to-pieces-hood.’  She cannot live perpetually in ‘Zerrissenheit.’  She will be shattered into a thousand pieces.  On the contrary, she must consciously encourage those pursuits which oppose the centrifugal forces of today.  Quiet time alone, contemplation, prayer, music, a centering line of thought or reading, of study or work.  It can be physical or intellectual or artistic, any creative life proceeding from oneself.  It need not be an enormous project or a great work.  But it should be something of one’s own.  Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day–like writing a poem, or saying a prayer.  What matters is that one be for a time inwardly attentive.”

Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, page 56

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Like most mothers, my days are busy from start to finish.  Yesterday even more so.  The children didn’t have school so I left a list of chores for David and Sarah to complete while I was gone, and took Caleb, along with Seth, to his orthopedic doctor’s appointment, 45 minutes away through morning rush hour city traffic.  The appointment was over an hour long in a tiny room, mostly waiting, with Caleb leaving twice for xrays.  We left with the orders that he could not throw anymore until his shoulder heals, as he has what’s commonly called “Little League Shoulder”, which means that the growth plate in the shoulder is inflammed by over-use in throwing baseballs and footballs.  Ironically, I was suffering from a stiff neck all day and still am this morning.  We ate lunch,  relieved to finally know why Caleb’s shoulder was hurting and happy that with rest it should heal up nicely.  We did some shopping and came home with just enough time to get ready for music lessons, and then on to football and cheerleading practice.  Then, loud and happy goofing around in the house afterwards as they ate a bedtime snack, took showers, and David chased the family pets around the house, scaring them half to death with his dragon hand puppet.

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In the midst of this day of mine,  I took out my camera and enjoyed God’s lovely world in the small green grassy yard by the music building downtown.  Seth and I saw a pretty creek, trees with bright leaves, unusual mushrooms, and we took each other’s picture.

Now I’m taking a quiet moment to write here, feet up on the coffee table and dishwasher running in the kitchen, and I’m quite positive Anne Morrow Lindbergh would approve.

 

 

 

 

“no days off”

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We all woke up this morning at 6 and couldn’t sleep anymore!  We don’t know why!

To break up the day we decided to go out together to first and foremost get chicken feed, and then do a little shopping, and have lunch.  I bought Sarah a cute dress, Seth some stylish sweatpants, myself some earrings, a vase, a liquid measuring cup for baking, and a couple of shirts, and Grace a brown bandana for her hair.  The tacos at Moe’s have gotten smaller but lunch was filling and delicious.  We listened to happy music on the way home.

David and Caleb are away at camp this week and Rich is on a business trip until Wednesday.

Grace went out for tea with a friend when we got home and we are having quiet time now because this evening is Seth’s first football practice for the season AND Sarah is doing cheerleading for the first time!  She’s nervously excited.

I am watching the Waltons and filling out their sports forms.  Mondays are always a “catch up on laundry” day and we’ll have chicken patties and veggies for dinner before we leave for practice later.

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My shirt says “no days off” and I wear it when I’m in a humorous mood because I didn’t buy it because I work out daily in the gym, I bought it because I’m a mom. And while it’s true that my current stage in life (“motherhood”) allows for almost no days off, I cannot complain as I constantly count my blessings, the first of which is that I get to be mom of these seven children of ours.  There are many busy and even chaotic moments in each day, but there are also many peaceful and quiet ones to recharge, like right now, while I’m blogging and watching TV……….or reading, petting the cats, scrapbooking, baking, walking, or taking off for a morning of shopping with the kids.

life is good and I’m glad I can flop on the couch in between laundry, cleaning, and dishes!

Happy Monday!

 

happy mother’s day!

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Go on doing the little things,
no matter how small,
only making sure that you breathe love into them.
Let them fall where they may,
no matter into what heart,
no matter how silently,
no matter how hopeless may seem the soil into which they drop,
no matter how you yourself may appear
to be forgotten
or overlooked
as you do your deeds of kindness,
and speak your words of love.
These words and deeds and influences of yours are living seeds,
and not one of them shall perish!

J.R. Miller

full & good

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Things That Have Been Happening Around Here Lately:

  •  Rich has been away more than here. (business trips)
  • basketball with neighbor boys
  • Sarah had a brunch date with friends.
  • I bought a giraffe at an estate sale.
  • Someone gave me a gospel track — Rich said I must’ve looked in need of Salvation.
  • I yelled, “Get OFF the roof!”
  • I yelled, “WHAT are you DOING?”
  • One of our black cats ate a purple ribbon.
  • Sarah broke a rose fiesta bowl.
  • We had a warm weather day.
  • We had rain.
  • We had snow.
  • We had ice.
  • The boys had baseball practice.
  • We are listening to The Hobbit on audible to and from the fields.
  • Seth didn’t want to hold my hand on the sidewalk in town. (rite of passage)
  • This week is spring break.
  • David had an appointment this morning.
  • And is now back to bed.
  • I said, “If you ask me that one more time you are going to stand in the corner” to my 12 year old.

 

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’tis spring; come out
to ramble
the hilly brakes around,
For under thorn and bramble
About the hollow ground
The primroses are found.  a.e. houseman

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golden edges

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bluebird sighting at the suet

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One morning I could hear a bird singing and I sighed, “I wish I could identify birds by their sounds.”  The children got on the bus and a little while later I went to get in the car and was distracted by the bird that was making that same sound I had heard earlier!  So I learned what it was, a Red Headed Woodpecker!  I ran to get the camera……..

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It slipped the tip of its beak under the edge of the lichen to get bugs; making its calling noise the whole time.

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No human has a naturally red head THIS red.

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And then, a cardinal appeared.

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And a goldfinch.  It was a lovely bird morning.  I took the photos from the porch.

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The children spent the entire day outside on Saturday.  In my opinion it was our first spring day. . . . .absolutely gorgeous weather, bare feet, fishing, turtles, basketball, baseball.

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Caleb ran to show me the turtle he and Jack found.

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And like his big brothers before him, he named it and put it back.

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And then they caught a nice fish.

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I repotted some plants I started for my friends and family.  It’s been fun collected different planters and pots on my thrifting adventures.  I’ll have to do a blog post soon to show them off.

life is full and good

a previously despised task……..

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I posted the last blog a few days ago, gathered up my things and went downstairs to the laundry room, prepared to spend at least an hour folding clothes, when my phone rang.  Honestly, I hadn’t even folded ONE ITEM before it rang.  It was the school nurse calling to inform me that Sarah was in the office not feeling well. She was running a low-grade fever and had a sore throat, it came on rather suddenly because she was fine that morning when she got ready for school and left on the bus.

I was quite busy with her and the boys that afternoon….along with catching up with the laundry, I also picked David up early after midterms, then picked up Caleb after newspaper club, took David back to the school for practice, took Sarah to the doctors where her strep test was negative, and got home just in time to take Seth and Caleb to practice.

Yesterday she was feeling much better but spent the day at home with me, in her cozy jammies.  We picked up David again after midterms and I ran into the grocery store to get things for lasagna dinner that evening and a chicken for tonight.

This morning the three youngest ones are all at school but David didn’t have any tests today so he is home and he’s still asleep.

I’m 41 years old, I’ve been married since I was 19, I had my first baby at 20, and life is still busy (as it should be–no complaints) but as I sat this morning on the couch, I was struck by the thought of what I was doing…….MENDING A LONG TEAR IN A TWIN SHEET……

I’ve mended through the years once or twice, when absolutely necessary, but there were many many other times when something ripped and I simply threw it away.  It sounds so awful, downright wasteful, but those years of having little ones at home filled me right up to the brim with other more important work, more important than mending a small hole in a pair of pants that was barely noticeable.  He can wear them anyway.  If a sheet tore, I would groan loudly, fold it up, and stick in the back of the closet.  I can’t mend!  I have to change diapers, get a child out of mischief, clean up strange messes that a house without children wouldn’t see (eggs all over the floor and counters?)….I often wondered why I was tired to tears by the end of the day.  I truly thought something was wrong with me.

Now I see, as I’ve come out on the “other side”, and I see that OF COURSE a newly pregnant mom, nursing an almost one year old, with multiple other children is going to be crying at the end of the day!!!  When you love and care for your children with your whole being, your whole being becomes exhausted!

……Beautifully exhausted, although back then I didn’t see much beauty in it whatsoever.   I was impatient with myself……. but at least I had the sense NOT to do the mending.

Until now.  In the year of our Lord 2018, I am mending.  I am downright marveling at this turn of events.  Yesterday I sat and sewed up tiny holes in “baby” Sarah’s size 8 pants from J Crew.  And then I sewed shut a small hole in Seth’s nice thick athletic pants.  I repaired a pair of gloves that Sarah’s thumb had popped through.  And this morning, I mended a 15 inch long tear in one of our very precious twin sized sheets (there are 6 twin beds in this house that need these sheets).  The mending is imperfectly lovely but as I folded the sheet and put it away, I felt a connection to this thing, this fitted sheet that my child tore (how?) and I repaired.  I took care of something and restored it to usefulness again.  I chose to put this skill aside in those very busy childbearing years, but now have the interest and desire necessary to put my hands to work and “waste not”………

Isn’t it a marvel that life’s path changes?  That a woman can change?  I loved the early baby-years, but I’m loving the “school-aged-children” years, too.

What’s next while I await the next small hole?  The house is tidy, I organized a closet, cleaned out a fish tank, and later on David and I are going to repair a lamp.

Unless of course, the school nurse calls.