Friday, June 23, 2017

Tending my...

Flock Herd

Because my family is more like a bunch of goat kids with their own wild ideas and dispositions, than a docile bunch of geese, though I watch over them like a mother hen sometimes. This post is a reminder that we make choices every day, and each new day is a chance for new choices. My own, the past twenty years (really, already!?) have been all focused on doing one thing well; raising a family, creating a place for this family to grow and thrive.

I have had to come to terms with the consequences of my decisions, over and over again.  This was one of those weeks of facing the music. Before I go on; warning, this post contains an image of a very, teeny tiny spider, but it is a spider, so (Mom), beware. 

I attended the annual conference for interpreters and translators in Iowa last week; (IITA). When interpreters get together, we are just like parents everywhere, and we compare notes on our kids. It is never football or music with interpreters; it's all about languages. And...on the topic of bilingual children, I came up lacking. Sigh. I always meant for them all to be perfectly bilingual, it was the plan. My lovely children are bilingual, but not all of them are perfectly fluent, at least not when they are in the States. Give them a couple of weeks in France and it all comes back...but it's been three years. Other interpreters HAVE succeeded, some of their children are fluent in not only two, but five languages.

Should I have done things differently? Should we have lived with the house as it was, no improvements, no repairs, no new AC? Should I have stayed home from that San Francisco conference?, said no to kids' dance lessons?, kung-fu?, giving to charity?, to make sure we could go to France each summer? Or was it just not going to happen anyway, with five children, the expenses daily life involves and the various activities I would have to hear arguments about missing in the summer? 

None of this is productive.  Here is what life is now, today. No one can tell about tomorrow.

I am so very contented, taking care of my children, home with them, gardening, cooking, reading aloud and cooking, along with a nice, side career, and it is a lucky, blessed life indeed. Choices have been made and whether or not others could have been made is irrelevant.

The universe if falling into place as it should. 

And look who came to explore my knitting the other night! Arachne herself! (This is where the spider-fearers may look away. I think she is very elegant. I am honored!)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer Progression

The first of the "summer birthdays" has come and been duly celebrated in our home. Crazy party photos below. It was a big one for him, and a bigger one for Mama; Gael, my youngest is ten. Dang.

Those are spears, made by Charles (leaning against the trampoline), that were thrown at the pinata, along with knive..."historical reencactment" according to his gracious uncle.

Gael is a deeply creative spirit. He starts planning his Halloween costume for next year on November 1st. The haircut is one he dreamed up himself, color and all.
This week, Duncan will turn nineteen; again, eeek. He is the man he claims to be, not the boy he will always be in my heart. Later, in July, Charles will turn thirteen. Gosh.

I thought this would crush me under a sadness I could not imagine bearing, some day. But the desire to remain in the state of mom at home with young children, little ones I can read to and tuck into bed safely at night, though still very strong, has bloomed into something else. I LOVE that four of them are here with me, but I allow myself to enjoy times when they are off doing their own thing as well. We are all growing. That is a beautiful thing.

Gardening every morning for hours, for example, is not an option I had, even a year ago, when at least one or two munchkins would be up and hungry by 7. Now, sleeping in has become their favorite pastime, and my opportunity. My flowers are pretty happy about it too. There may even be some vegetables, they've sprouted at least.  I've been hand-picking pests off of the milkweed, hoping to save any monarch eggs that might be laid this year. I saw a butterfly last week...but no eggs or caterpillars yet. I can take my time in the garden.

The kids will be following some different directions this summer, and I think it will be nice. Gael is heading to day camp for a week, with the Cub Scouts. Charles will be in Boy Scout, away-camp another week, while Valentine is in Guatemala on a church, youth trip at the same time. Cate has already been to Washington DC for a leadership conference for young women through AAUW. (American Academy of University Women). She and her friends did their own fundraising in order to go, They heard and met women who have changed the world in many ways. They came back inspired.

Charles and his father rode the "TOMRV" this past weekend. This stands for "Tour of the Mississippi River Valley," or hell on a bicycle. The weather was in the 90's, and the hills are incredible between Davenport, IA and Dubuque, IA, especially when you wander over to Galena Territory in Illinois on the way. My 12-year-old made it. His dad did too, as well as a couple of other friends and the Scout master extraordinaire, who turns 70 this year. Strangely enough, this one does not figure on my radar of "things I just gotta do."

Did you notice that week where there will only be one child at home? It just so happens that the plays I most wanted to see at the American Players Theatre Festival are on that week as well. One little boy is going to spend some time with his grandparents. His father and I will be enjoying what he would not appreciate at all; "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and "Cyrano." Educating the children is all very well, but the finer things in life need some experience to appreciate. I can't wait!

I think now, it might be time for a shower, some quick tidying up and watching out for waking children. But it's been good to wake up with you.