Photo upload issues have kept me quiet this week, so this will be a mamoth all-over-the-place update post today!
This week has been really slow, sleepy, and dreamy. We have fallen a little out of our usual rhythm, mostly because I have been ill and also because the children have been rediscovering play in some ways and have just not wanted to be drawn out of those focused moments. They play, with and without toys, every day. Huge long stretches of time. But somehow I think winter gives that new pleasure to playing indoors and creating whole worlds in our heads.
While they get on with all that, I borrow worlds of others' creation. I finished the Earthsea cycle, and am in love with it all over again. This passage always strikes me, but I read it afresh this time and frankly I couldn't better sum up how much I long to escape the Doing To mentality of parenting.
"An act is not, as young men think, like a rock that one picks up and throws, and it hits or misses, and that's the end of it. When that rock is lifted the earth is lighter, the hand that bears it heavier. When it is thrown the circuits of the stars respond, and where it strikes or falls the universe is changed. On every act the balance of the whole depends. ... we in so far as we have power over the world and over one another, we must learn to do what the leaf and the whale and the wind do of their own nature. We must learn to keep the balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility. ... do nothing because it is righteous, or praiseworthy, or noble, to do so; do nothing because it seems good to do so; do only that which you must do, and which you cannot do in any other way."
Martinmass came and went without me taking pictures, and I still don't have pictures of some of the things we have made, but ah well. This, I have to share. I knitted this little fellow: Little Lantern Child. I love it. I have since made, um, several. Including a mummy, daddy and baby gnome for Connor. :)
And the girls made lanterns of several kinds - these are the only ones I have a picture of.
I have been knitting away most days and am nearly done with Christmas present making.
It is less than a week until my birthday, and then we'll be decorating the house in preparation for advent and Hannukah (which start on the same day this year). Paper chains and greenery and the much-loved nativity set! I love this time of year, and all of the work lovingly done, gifted to my family, the experience of creating festivals year on year and learning and growing through them myself. If truth be told, I don't find anything about Christmas stressful these days. Simplicity is the key - that and seeking the things that bring us all true JOY, even where it means rejecting something that is the wrong fit for us now.
Speaking of which, I've been reading a book called So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore. Interesting and inspiring, and I'll have to share more another time! If you're reading this and freaking out purely based on the title, I'd love to lend it to you. It doesn't say at all what you think it does, I guarantee that! ;)
We have taken a lot of cold walks. I am loving my mei tai for getting Rowan quickly secured on my back when I just want to be outside NOW. We have made up for the cold by drinking a lot of hot chocolate, also. Oh, and honey lemon and ginger tea for poorly stuffy headachey mama.
Oh, the children found a new area of Poisson Rouge and it's brilliant! Sciencey stuff. Very cool. I love unschooling.
And for good measure, some lovely gratuitous baby pictures. A sleeping baby. She might have had another week of not doing the whole sleep thing at *night*, but she is still 100% yummy when she naps. Now if I could persuade her that it was good to do this at 2am... ;)