As I sit down to write this post, my eyes dart up at the time. I have exactly 20 minutes left. Exactly 2 hours and 20 minutes ago I left my two children with a trusted babysitter. In exactly 19 minutes I have to pack up and drive home. Today is the first day of “my time,” as I have it marked in my calendar, a few hours one morning a week, every week until the end of August. This was a deliberate creation, something I needed, time to be something other than “mommy.” Time for me to get immersed in my other selves: gardener, blogger, someone who would enjoy a massage or a quiet walk all on her own. I did contemplate getting the car washed, but then decided that falls into the same category as grocery shopping and other such errands, not things that were intended for these three precious hours.
At the beginning of this year, we took E, our 5-year-old daughter, out of preschool. There were several factors that went into our decision, one being that she had been attending either full-time day care or preschool almost her entire life. She had never had the opportunity of completely unscheduled time. And, frankly, neither had I. Honestly, I wasn’t sure we had made the right decision, but now I could not imagine it any other way. We seized a fleeting opportunity.
Now, our days are fluid. We have the freedom of visiting our local children’s science museum three times in one week if that is what we feel like doing. And, we have been there a lot. This particular museum really lends itself to E’s current interests. Aside from playing with her various versions of little animals, her other favorite thing to do is anything outside. She is very interested in nature these days and constantly has her eye out for something interesting to add to her collection of leaves, sticks, animal bones, rocks, bark, etc.
Okay, I never intended to just drop out of sight, without a peep, a word, a warning. I didn’t see it coming. I could blame my daughter’s 5th birthday, visitors, the lead up to Christmas, lots of things. The first week I disappeared, I was busy decorating my daughter’s birthday cake on the day that I usually write. She has fallen in love with the movie “My Neighbor Totoro” and had a showing of the film for her party. I never would have agreed to a movie themed birthday party, but this film is especially lovely. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. Here is the cake I made, an accomplishment I am quite proud of.
I honestly did not know what I was going to write about when I sat down to my computer to compose this post. I am tired of the upcoming election and can’t bring myself to write about the struggling Proposition 37. Not a lot has been happening in the garden, not enough to inspire a post. What has stuck with me is the perfect fall afternoon we had and the time I spent with my children in the backyard this afternoon.
It started out with me determined to get something done in the garden. I am feeling really behind, and having a sick family these last two weeks has made it almost impossible to do any significant work out there. So, I did manage to turn the soil and plant shell peas in one bed. My daughter helped out, which she hasn’t done in a while. I have a sneaking suspicion that she realized if she helped I would finish faster and we could get down to the real business of playing with her plastic animals. Continue reading
When my now four-year old was given her first bite of solid food she scrunched up her face and spit it out. That was the first and last time she did that when new foods were offered to her. She quickly became known as a “good eater,” eating anything and everything placed before her. She went through a period where she ate zucchini by the bowl full. I clearly remember a friend declaring at a party, “Oh, E picked up a piece of raw broccoli from the table, ate it, and then went back for more!” She was 2 1/2 at the time. All those parenting books advising that you might have to offer a new food ten times before your child would eat it did not apply to us.