I’m tired. The boys just went down for their naps, and my down comforter sounds awfully nice, but I’m telling myself that if I just sit here in the delicious afternoon sun for a few minutes, it will be positively energizing. Right?
It’s fall here. That means that at the peak of the day, the sun will warm you all the way through, and you may even want to put on a skirt and flip-flops. But come evening, when that sun goes down, the temperature plummets, and all you want is the biggest sweatshirt you own. And so we’ve begun the cold-weather habits of lighting candles, eating soup, and settling in for evenings of togetherness. Is that so bad?
Several weeks ago, I tried to take a step back, get a fresh look at this season of life and our family’s needs, and come up with a new game plan. I’m not always very good at that. Getting off track is way too demoralizing for me, considering it’s just part of life. (I need to get better at that.) I’m also learning, though, that most of the time when we’re off track, it’s because our train changed direction, and I need to get a track in place. Does that make sense? I don’t think of myself as a routine, organized person. My spices, for instance, are a chaotic mess, all dumped into a basket and hidden behind a cupboard door. (Not that I wouldn’t prefer something else, but I’m not enough of an organizer to figure out what that something else is.) However, I’m realizing how inflexible I am about life and how I think it should go. I figure our house should be continually getting prettier and tidier. It is a shock to my system when I realize that the needs of husband, children, or household rhythm dictates that instead, my house has to become more functional. I figure my house should get cleaner and cleaner, and then I realize that Jameson needs me more, I want to spend time with friends, church events happen, and my housekeeping gets bumped further and further down the list. Things like that. Recognizing where the train is going and getting a new track in place. Embracing my call to be a student of husband, children, and home, and then adapt to their needs. And finding joy in knowing their needs are met. Even if my bathroom gets cleaned only once a week. (Get over it, Danica. It’s still not about you.)
I’m loving reading with Jameson lately. He’s old enough now that we can read any book on the shelf — even long, complicated stories — and he gets thoroughly engrossed. Yesterday he pulled out a Happy Hollisters book, sat himself down with it, and then sadly discovered there were no pictures. “I not know how to read this one, Mama!” So I told him I’ll help him read it. I think it’s time for chapter books at bedtime. (How fun!) He found a pictorial encyclopedia of military uniforms of the last century, and has been poring over the pictures, examining the Chronicles of Narnia action figures he has, and delighting in all of the weapons he’s finding. He is particularly fascinated by the German entrenching tool. I’m not sure why, unless digging a hole in dirt and hiding in it is just universally appealing to the male gender. I just slipped into his room and found his arms wrapped around the book, the page opened to military bands. I love, love, love watching his curiosity and fascination with life and the world around him. It’s exhilarating.
I had my first cleaning-with-a-mobile-baby day on Monday. Over the weekend, William officially began crawling. He’s been scooching himself via a series of hysterical movements for several weeks, but now has figured out the efficiency of being on his knees. This means the outlets need to be checked, magazines lay in torn fragments on the living room floor, and he’s finding out the world is not his oyster. It also means that I can fold laundry for 20 minutes undisturbed, because Jameson and William are outside playing and laughing together. I like the undisturbed part, but I absolutely adore the laughing and together parts.
Tonight, I’m finally doing what I’ve been thinking about and wanting to do since I first realized there were women my age at church: I’m starting a small group. I’m incredibly excited about the prospect of being encouraged, challenged, and growing close to these girls. We’re going to start by reading Feminine Appeal, which I’ll do a review of soon. Suffice to say, I really, really enjoyed the book myself and highly recommend it. Perhaps I’ll post my thoughts as we read through the book in our group, so you can read/study along.
Okay. The sun has warmed me in that wonderful way autumn sunshine does. Time to get up and pull the house together a bit.