Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Pickles and Parenting
There she stood, by the kitchen counter and surrounded by empty milk jugs as Mama made cheese. She arranged the dishes just so and then declared "Well! I just need to take a picture of that!"
I thought it was hilarious. And then, for a moment, I was taken aback.
I wonder who taught her to take random pictures of humble things that strike her fancy? An arrangement of dirty dishes perhaps, or shadows on the wall, or pockets full of rocks or a ridiculous number of photographs of food being prepared or immediately before we consume it? ;-)
Our children become like we are- we rub off on them- with or without realizing it. Until, that is, one day a child says or does something that so clearly represents who we are. Tragically, it isn't always a cute or hilarious thing that they have learned. I have a particular child who tends to be impatient with siblings...and when the words coming from within are spoken, they come out in nasty, impatient tones. Tones that sound an awful lot like mine when I am being frustrated and impatient. Those moments make me shudder because they have learned those things from....me.
Sure, I homeschool my children. I am in charge of their education. I 'get' that. But somewhere along the lines I put home education in a tidy box. Schooling here. check. Life here. check. The fact is, however, we parents are educating our children whether or not we homeschool. Indeed, whether or not we even notice.
That is a weighty, weighty thing indeed. It makes me yearn to be better, to be more kind, more generous, more intelligent, more clever, more patient, more godly...more EVERYTHING.
That is the challenge of mothering. That is the gift of mothering.
Children make you stop thinking about what you can receive out of life and replaces it with this deep, intense desire to be better and give more. It is a gift to the mother who becomes more glorious; it is a gift to the child who will thrive in such conditions and will, ultimately, surpass the parents' in wisdom and goodness; it is truly, a gift to the world. A world full of people who think less of themselves and their desires and strive to do good? The world could use more of those sorts of people.
I hauled the children to the blueberry patch twice last week in order to get stocked up on blueberries. We had just finished our stash from last year, so it was perfectly timed. We picked 34 pounds total and I froze it all. I hope to get out there one more time, using those berries to eat fresh and make something elegant out of. Matt loves himself some blueberry pie...
It is getting very late in the season and I am not sure if I will get the opportunity to do it...the weeks fill up quickly and the garden work is shifting from outside work to kitchen work which is keeping me busy. But I hope to. Even just an hour or so would be a fair amount of berries when picked by 10 hands, albeit mostly little ones. On a sidenote, having a berry bucket taped to your belly when in your 2nd trimester is a very odd thing. Awkward.
A few weeks ago we picked our first zucchini...and it was ginormous. It is a bit disheartening to have the very first zucchini be the size of a baseball bat. I know it usually ends up that way toward the end of the season- that is the way of zucchini's, after all-but in the beginning?!? Sheesh.
Naughty Ruby dog made another hole in the chicken fence and the chickens found it...and then escaped to the gardens and feasted on my beautiful tomatoes. The plants have been hanging on after a very rough go with all the rains we have had in early summer just for the chickens to ruin many of the beautiful fruits! It is going to be a depressing tomato year for us this year. *sniff*
On the docket this week is cucumbers, squash and beans. We may not have many tomatoes but we won't starve. There will be pickles and squash. LOADS of pickles and squash.