I needed some new space – if there is anyone still who ever pops over here you can find me here
Today while in the midst of the busyness that are my parenting days of late (it’s one of those stages where going to the bathroom by myself doesn’t really happen), I took two quick minutes for myself. I had just loaded all the kids and our outdoor stuff (breakfast dishes, swimsuits, playdoh, shoes, underwear, etc.) back inside and needed just two minutes of quiet. I stepped back outside with the camera to soak up something beautiful. Right now our raspberry patch is blooming and it literally buzzes audibly, there are so many pollinators doing their work. I grew up in the city so lots of this nature, country stuff is still new and very surprising to me and hearing all the different fruit trees buzz this spring has been wonderous. The sound really soothes me, in a similar way as listening to ocean waves. Somehow, both give me the feeling of the presence of God. I listened for a minute, snapped a few pictures of the beautiful bees and headed back inside, thankful that something so simple (yet so miraculous) could make me feel so sure of the peace of God.
My friend Claire posted this on her blog today and it seemed too fun not to jump in and hear some of your answers too…
1) A book you threw across the room in anger
2) A book you couldn’t quit underlining
3) A book you were surprised to like and
4) A book you can’t wait to read next….
1) A book you threw across the room in anger: Okay I’ve only read parts of this on the internet – not bought it – To Train Up a Child – by the Pearls
2) A book you couldn’t quit underlining – Naked Spirituality: A Life With God in 12 Simple Words by Brian Mclaren
3) A book you were surprised to like – Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
4) A book you can’t wait to read next….Dismantaling the Inner School – David Albert
What are yours?
I’m walking down the hallway and I look over, as I tend to do, towards the wall that holds my babes newborn photos.
Haven is in the sling as I am doing a morning tidy and at the end of the hall Liam and Raine pop around the corner. They are both talking. About what, I am not sure. I am too engulfed, almost undone, by the six and three short years those sweet babes have grown into the individuals in front of me. Just like all those grandmas told me, gone in a blink. And if I wasn’t the woman who birthed them I wouldn’t know that they are the same people at all. Even the true baby at just ten months earthside, already is hardly recognizable from that new soul gazing up from the wall. The chattering continues, then finished sharing their joy with me, they shoot off on their next exploration.
But my mind continues to sit and ponder the portraits and the living, breathing masterpieces as I go about my work. Throughout the day I begin to see fragments that connect them both. The shinning eyes, the ears that stick out a little bit more than average, the perfect pink skin. I have loved and cherished those babies in a way that words will never be able to describe, yet I see how the people they are becoming are stronger, faster, deeper, and more understanding than their baby selves. I feel blessed beyond words at being witness to this growing process too, turning them into people I love in a way that is just as indescribable as when they were new.
And as I often do when I think about my parental feelings towards my children, I can’t help but wonder if God feels the same towards me, towards you, towards us all. That He absolutely loves us beyond words as our baby selves, yet rejoices in the process of us growing closer to Him, loving deeper, becoming stronger in Jesus, less selfish, and more understanding. And how I long to grow into someone unrecognizable from the portrait of who I am today – with only God seeing the genes He has planted that will carry me through into the person He created me to be.
So continuing in my efforts to totally out myself (to anyone who doesn’t already know) as a mama who leans in the
crazy natural direction, today for the first time my baby signed potty before she needed to go pee (yes my ten month old baby). I know from personal experience, that if this is the first time you are hearing about elimination communication you have no idea what I am talking about and are perhaps looking to send a concerned e-mail to someone who loves me so they can find me some good help. Here is a brief synopsis.
According to Diaper Free Baby ‘It is a gentle, natural, non-coercive process by which a baby, preferably beginning in early infancy, learns with the loving assistance of parents and caregivers to communicate about and address his or her elimination needs. This practice makes conventional potty training unnecessary.’ Surprisingly to those of us here in North American, most of the world does practice some form of diaper free baby pottying (by most I mean population not area, although it is close on area too).
I first met someone who practiced ec when Liam (my oldest) was about six months old. I thought she was nice but totally cookoo! I mentioned it to my mother who said ‘oh yes I did something like that with all of you when you were just about a year old’. (What my mom did was lots of naked time and taking us to the potty at common pee times, like when you just wake up.) So I though what the heck – lets give it a try. And by let’s I mean when I told my husband he thought I had finally truly gone off the deep end. I remember the conversation going something like this: ‘Babe you have had some crazy ideas but really this is too much. This is really crazy – I mean really. REALLY. There is no way that is going to work. Please stop being so crazy and turn back into that normal girl I married so many years ago.’ (Okay that was all true except for the last sentence. – I have never been 100% normal – ‘grin’.) This same man will now preach the amazingness of ecing to anyone and everyone, including coworkers, friends, relatives, people at church, people at McDonald’s playplace…
Our ecing with Haven has been pretty laid back. Our schedule is busy so we haven’t been very consistent with offering to pee her but I have always tried to keep her dry (we use cloth diapers with often no cover but you can ec with disposables.) The last few weeks we have really been meshing though so I started showing her the sign for potty while she was peeing/pooping. And today my genius baby (all babies are geniuses, I’m not playing favourites :)) signed it while I was nursing her at bedtime. I was skeptical, but we went to the bathroom and sure enough – success! And while yes it is a little more work when they are little as I changed my girls or offered to let them pee more often than I changed Liam who wore disposables for the first year of his life, personally I have found it is so worth it. My girls often would be ‘fussing’ because they had to pee, take them pee and voila - happy baby. Also they were out of diapers really young – so any extra work early on pays off by having a kid out of diapers much, much sooner than a traditionally diapered kid. Truly it feels a bit rebellious too – not supporting the diaper industry that is not only bad for the earth but have a vested (financial) interest in keeping kids in diapers/pullups as long as possible. Mommy counter consumer movement = a fun little bit of sticking it to the man. Which frankly, is one of my favourite types of fun.
And at hippie mom park day I really fully appreciated something for the first time. It’s this – how there were happy groups of children ages three (littler ones with the mammas) through 12 all playing TOGETHER. And yesterday Liam who is six and kindergarten age was playing monopoly with a friend (who happens to be a girl) and for the first time it dawned on me that if he went to school he would probably not be doing this – having playdates with kids of the opposite sex that is.
Since I am sadly without a time machine, I am not sure where this will take us down the road, but for now I love that there is this inclusion present for their childhood. I love that my son thinks of girls as his true equal – just as fun to play with as boys. I love that my three year old will join right in with five and seven year olds and feels like an equal member of the group. I love that my son’s repertoire of experiences playing with other kids is expanded, from much smaller kids (like his baby sister for instance whom he can make giggle like no one else) to much older kids who teach him new and exciting things too.
It excites me that my kids will be that much more used to interacting with a diverse group of individuals – and that as grown ups perhaps it won’t be ‘work’ for them to love and accept others who are different from themselves (and hopefully at best they won’t even think of them as different) - it will just be a normal part of life.
Of all the things God has done to grow me being a mother is absolutely at the top of the list. Being mommy to my three little loves fills me with insane amounts of joy.
I am the type of mother who just wants everything to s-l-o-w down. I wish motherhood came with a time capsule so I could bottle up some of the nursing the baby, the jumping on the trampoline laughing gleefully with the three year old, the hearing my six year count by 80′s, 60′s, 30′s over lunch. I’d save them and bring out for when they are all grown and I have no more chubby baby thighs to squeeze, no more little hands helping me plant flowers or children’s voices ringing in the woods.
Sometimes I tease them. ‘Stop growing’ or ‘no more growing’ I tell them while tickling or hugging them. They protest and say but mommy I have to grow. I say that I know and I am happy they are growing so heathy and strong. Liam asks me why I say ‘stop growing ;)’. I say I don’t want them to get too big for my hugs and kisses. Liam says ‘Mommy I will never, ever, never be too big for your hugs and kisses.’ Mister I am holding you to that – as my time capsule.