Ruminations

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My apologies for a blog gone dormant.

This has been my place to share silliness and wonder and achieved milestones for years.
Yet I have found over the last year that I am no longer the person who once posted here so regularly.
Nor are the children about whom I’ve shared.

The children continue to be amazing, astonishing, curious, intelligent and surprising. And they have lives and preferences and experiences that belong to them individually now — not just as a part of my parenting-journey. And I respect that and find I do not feel at ease with relating their lives in a venue unchosen by them.

These understandings are informed by (indeed even caused by) ruminations of my own nature and the reasons that I began blogging.

I had spent a huge portion of my life deeply doubting my own worth.
Parenting without self-worth is a hard road.
Much of my blogging, though unknown to me at the time, was an attempt to prove to myself that I wasn’t a complete waste as a person…or parent.
Yet no matter how much I blogged — no matter how precious the photos — the doubt gnawed at me. I could fake it enough to feel that the children were not to be damaged irreparably. But I could not feel worth in my spirit.

Then, about a year ago, it all changed.

I discovered that I was/am an Introvert.

How does one get to their late 40s without knowing this?
I had many bad experiences as a child and I just assumed that the general state of my screwed-up-ness related back to that.
I was defective. Period.

But when I began to read about introversion and about the different experiences, reactions, coping mechanisms and thought processes related to it — everything made sense.

When I stopped pushing myself to be more outgoing, more social, more like ‘everyone else’ I found that I really liked who I was at the core.

Acceptance evolved into peace and serenity and confidence.

Like most Introverts, I have triggers. I call them the Big 3: chaos, crowds & conflict.
So I organize my life, as much as I can, to minimize or avoid all of them.
I shop at off hours, I stay away from negative people and situations, I do not watch the news…

Socializing is still difficult at times — the level of difficulty rising with the noise or negativity of the situation.
But I’ve found that I can cope. I can get adequate sleep, eat healthy foods, nurture healthy relationships and, quite importantly, give myself plenty of ‘introverting’ to recover after.

I am not anti-social.
I am selectively social.

Socializing, in other words, people, are to me like the Sun.
We need the Sun to survive.
But either too little or too much and we do not thrive — and extremely too little or too much and we do not even survive.

Enough to thrive, with one’s own requisite amounts of light and shade respected, there is the sweet spot.

So, here I am, a deep introvert trying to explain why this blog is dormant, and indeed why I have gleefully embraced being a homebody. Because here, at home, with my family….this is my sweet spot.
And where you’ll most likely find me — learning with the children, cooking/baking yummy foods, knitting, crocheting & spinning to my heart’s content, watching Doctor Who or other geek-tastic shows.

I am deeply comfortable in my own skin.
I am confident in my ability to love these dear ones well and deeply enough to compensate for any of my failings.

I am at peace.

This Time of the Year

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Butternut Squash purée
Made from four local, organic butternut squash — roasted then run through the food processor. Such rich, glorious color. Plus free of chemicals or processing ick. Four quart size bags worth — now in the freezer for use this winter. (Plus enough left over to make muffins with today.)

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Pumpkin muffins made last week — from fresh, homemade pumpkin purée. Made the same way — I do love roasting the squash/pumpkin first and then after cooling, processing it into a useable purée.:)
(And a slow cooker bubbling away in the background — making a veggie-filled bone stock — also bagged and frozen for the winter ahead…)

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With these days getting colder (downright bracing some mornings…) we do try to get outside when the sun is bright.

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This week brought our first snow of the season. Twasn’t much. But it does remind of the weather to come and motivates my efforts to capture fresh, harvested, organic eats to sustain us through…

Transitions

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It snowed here yesterday. Only a bit. But it was the official first snow of the season with all the magic and beauty that the first snow is expected to have.

So, summer is well over now.

Those warm weather months are so. very. easy to fill. We are in constant motion, it seems, what with park days and swimming and birthdays and BIG, GRAND living.

But now we are in that transitional space between summer and The Holidays.

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These days are calmer and a good bit quieter. And introspective — yes, quite a bit more introspective.

Summer & heat & parks & all of that are busy, data & experience collecting times. But these days…these cooling, these ‘let’s stay home’ days are about integrating all those new experiences. And both are important.

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Whinnie

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My current 5yo (she’ll be 6 in December) has two older brothers to watch, learn from, tagalong with and emulate. Hence my experience with her — and her experience of being 5 — is quite different than what her brothers experienced.

For example, she watched her brothers (and papa) play Wii games. She tried a few, she played with papa more than anyone, she played with friends when they visited. Now she is the undisputed expert at a few of the Wii games, especially Kirby’s Epic Yarn.

She watches what the boys play on the computers and learns and then asks me to take her to that site or install that disk so that she can try it out.

Other than this, her own *thing* is usually art/crafting. She LOVES to craft. She has to make something, draw something, paint something everyday. Glue sticks, hole punches and glitter glue are her daily friends.

This is something that the boys have NO interest in — so it is all hers.
Mostly my role is to facilitate. I set up her crafting station — so that everything she uses is right at her fingertips — and get out of the way. I help tidy the space so that she can keep creating. I enjoy her creations — asking questions, discussing color and placement choices, etc.

She builds, creates, plays, creates more, experiments with dress up clothes combinations, watches favorite shows (My Little Pony or Tintin currently) and then dances off to do it all again and again.

Sometimes she’ll play board games — with whomever is willing.
Mostly she just wants the freedom to dance and create throughout her day.

She’s never known loneliness. She’s always had someone to cuddle with, chat with, play with, create with.

What an awesome life.😀

on not listening…

Saturday was a perfectly lovely day. The weather was extraordinary.

Papa and Nic spent the afternoon at GenCon. After dropping them there Whinnie, Theo & I went off adventuring. Several parks, a library, several stores, exploring, touching, playing, happy times. Well, you’d think, right? Nope.

Yes, the day was full of adventure and exploration.
And yet it was a parenting fail.

Why?
Because Whinnie & Theo had one request: go home & play.

“No,” I said, “we can go have lots of fun. We can explore. We can play. We can do whatever we want today — the weather is extraordinary.”

“Um, no thanks,” they said, “we’d rather go home.”

And the parenting fail: we spent the day exploring.

I dismissed what they asked for. I brushed aside their preference for this stupid idea I had in my head about what we *should* do.
And you know what is completely and utterly nutty? I didn’t even listen to my own inner voice; the one that was asking to go home.

Stupid.

I have these stupid tapes in my head telling me what I should be doing and what I should be expecting of the kids. And those tapes told me that it would be a shame to spend the beautiful day inside. And they told me that I shouldn’t waste the resources to go all the way home and then back to downtown to get the guys later.

You know what those tapes didn’t tell me? That I’d use even more gas driving all over the area looking for fun stuff to do. Additionally, those damn tapes were completely mute about how icky, ooky and unsettled I’d feel for having dismissed and ignored the kids’ {clearly expressed} preference.

When we got home I finally breathed clearly and fully and realized what I’d done. I missed home deeply. I was so happy to be back in this treasured space. I was deeply relieved to be back where I had wanted to be all day — as were the kids. Duh.

Being Mindful.
That’s what this blog is supposed to be about: mindful parenting, mindful homeschooling, mindful living.

So today?
While the kids revel in being at home, I’ll knit and clean and cook and facilitate. And when no one needs me, I’ll put in my earbuds and listen to some good audio (like this one) and mindfully keep myself out of the childrens’ way.😉

 

 

a walk in the woods

Sunday’s beautiful weather found us at Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana. So close to home yet almost brand new to us.

Whinnie LOVED exploring in and around the nature center — as always.

There were dugout canoes, bird watching rooms, trails, history, and the mounds themselves which inspired various conversations about ancient peoples and the ways in which they lived.

But mostly, we just had fun and enjoyed the trees.

 

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