putting a kid in school is hard for me. hard because i've put my entire being into making sure she is awesome. that's the goal, happy kids who have abundant love in their hearts and want to share that love. sharing love through knowledge, talents, humility, and how they regard the earth, and how their just being a good person is important.
my oldest, unfortunately, is learning that there are not so nice people out there that missed these basic elements to humanity. it starts early. it starts at home.
i cannot protect her from the feelings she will have about these newfound truths. but i can teach her by example and love, how to act.
"kids don't remember lessons, they remember moments. when we make education an experience instead of a checklist, it can be the difference between a lifeless and a LIVING education." -ainsley arment
it has been a rough year for the garden. three hail storms, each more devastating than the last. the true to time late may hail, june 29th hail, and yesterday's august 14th hail. this has been the latest hail since I have gardened here for 11 years.
if ever something has been humbling it is gardening in colorado.
i'm still pretty positive with this year. despite the hail, my 2018 garden was the prettiest it has ever been. lush and packed, absolutely alive!
children have the magic ability to make you slow down. to view the world through a lens that contains questions and magical answers.
growing your own food is one thing.
but really being awestruck by a strawberry.
being low and close enough to the earth to notice the balled rolly-pollies in the mulch.
the color of anthers. counting how many petals are on a peeking chive blossom.
that's the good stuff.
(sorry if i got any songs in your head ;) )
i really like crackers. a good cracker. made of flax and ground sprouted flours. fancy crackers. unfortunately, i am anaphylactic to chia seed, which many brands use in their fancy crackers. one single seed in my mouth, not even swallowed, will have me swollen and covered in hives, a purple horrible color, my eyes barely able to open for a good couple of weeks. i've never swallowed more than two. i imagine it wouldn't be very fun.
so, the chia seed is the actual seed of the salvia hispanica plant, in the mint family. it's hydrophilic, meaning it absorbs water very well, and has this gelatinous feel, making it an excellent vegan egg replacer. then they started popping up next to flax seeds in oatmeal. and in corn tortilla chips. and then crackers.
i don't really eat processed foods, but when i do buy them for my family, we get the good stuff. the minimally processed, organic stuff. this entails reading ingredients and photographing the box with chia in its ingredients, noting the company name and location. i need to know what equipment it is made on and what other products can have a chia seed in them. it's such a pain in the butt.
randomly buying a juice or smoothie isn't an option. a chia seed gummed onto the bottom of the blender, lodged itself in some little crevice? one chia seed dropped into some other add-in ingredient? nope.
even a vegan food truck here in the front range started offering chia seeds, which meant i couldn't support them anymore. or have those delicious noodles.
they put chia seed in makeup now.
i have yet to meet or hear of anyone else with a chia seed allergy. do you have any weird, pain in the butt allergies? do share!
sometimes it takes children to cause you to stop and notice the details surrounding you. other times it takes a conscious effort. other times, it requires nothing but mindfulness. put your device down and look around and notice!
the weeks have been fulfilling but not full.
popcorn garlands take forever to make.
reading a library book that is due with no renewals is real pressure.
if you rinse the goose poop off of your intentionally collected perfectly open pine cones for a christmas wreath, they will close up.
line a cookie sheet with tin with foil, bake at 250 fahrenheit until they have once again opened and your home smells like pitch.
planning, plotting, designing and brainstorming edible, medicinal gardens with the most inspiring landscape.
2017 was rough. and i know that every year we are toasting to a new, better year with an improved this or that or sense of self.
but really. just flipping the calendar over to a new month was easing. just to be able to see a month, this december, with no stuff all over the calendar. no appointments. just the good days. and birthdays. and reminders of holidays spent with family. no doom and gloom.
here's to a month of breathing.
the advice i hear a lot for myself, as well as for moms of small children is always to remember to "take time for yourself."
which i always smile and nod at. because i do not understand. and i thought about this more, and why i'm straight-up offended if it is suggested i be without my kids for a weekend day so that i can have a break.
a break from what, my kids? i don't want that.
what i have come to understand is that taking time for myself implies that there are two versions of myself.
and there aren't.
i have managed to create create a life with my children that allows me to be my full, whole self while being truly present for and with my kids.
the activities and interests i have are a part of my life, as part of my family.
my words, especially in this post are my own. my own thoughts on my own personality. this isn't a judgement on other personalities. this is my own, and what my understanding or resonance is with.
for example, i could be totally 100% stoked to be a homesteader and for that to be my life. but i do not know a single other mama friend who could say the same. that's not their personality. it's mine. ;)
at the end of the season,
when the marigolds have blackened
and the chard has slicked and withered,
the thistle still stands strong.
today i have two quotes in my head (and poems floating around and silly words that my daughter says)
"how can a man hope to promote peace in the world if he has not made it possible in his own life and his own household?" wendell berry
"we are just imperfect people trying to help heal a broken world" ethan hughes, co-founder of the possibility alliance.
the more that i truly focus on what i give to my family and my community, the more i understand how these threads of connectivity are woven from whatever loom i choose to put my energy into.
and i must, absolutely must, focus my energy into doing good.
something they want
something they need
something to wear
something to read
these are our guidelines for gifts in regards to our kids. even my husband has jumped on board with made in america and natural fibers and ditching fast fashion.
i didn't even feel the need to share the department of labor's report on child and forced (slavery) labor. the outrage is engrained once you see the bigger picture.
our daughter while in the craft store was asking which materials were "not polyester" for the fabric doll we are making together. it's all of us learning. knowledge really is power. and researching cotton that was GOTS certified, where it was grown and more about that company is power. we have computers for access to information so we are informing ourselves.
and the more that i research the information in the book that i am reading, the deeper i get into my morals.
i feel this intentional responsibility to be aware of my place on earth. that i cannot exist separately on this earth from the workers in bangladesh who were crushed to death sewing for fast fashion. from the sterile husband who picked the banana in ecuador that sits to brown for bread on my counter. the child forced to pick the carnations in columbia for the big box bouquet. the thai fisherman who are stuck on slave ships for those peel and eat party shrimp in every single store. the use of palm oil in goddamn everything and trying to explain why we don't eat this food or that to a 4 year old is not always easy but doing the right thing isn't always the easiest thing.