I forgot what it was like having a toddler. Funny how that happens.
The messes that big kids make at least make sense. They play with Playmobil and Lincoln Logs and railroad pieces all at once forming the most amazing miniature town sprawled across the living room floor and there is a maze in which you must hop over hills, valleys and roads to get into the kitchen. Crayons and markers scattered atop the table along with a bazillion pieces of paper is a mess- but it is one that has been made in the name of some serious artistic creations. These make sense to me. There is some form of productivity happening.
But TODDLERS. They carry markers around without coloring, they dump baskets full of play kitchen food that they never actually 'played with', they empty kitchen cupboards of all canning jar lids and food storage containers just because "LOOK! It's right at eye level! I can REACH it!" They put cups in toilets and have a splashing good time (at best) and try to quench a thirst (at worst). They unfurl all 1000 sheets of toilet paper. They fling anything they can reach to the four corners and for no other reason than they CAN.
It's pretty amazing how much of a disaster this house can get into without the least bit of productivity with an Ineke on the loose. The productive days are exponentially worse. My in-laws popped over one day during the homeschool day and all I could do was laugh at the total hurricane that we called home and said "See?! Look how productive this day has been!"
Sometimes I wonder, incredulous, at how older people seem to have forgotten the needs of children. How can they forget?! Don't they remember what it was like with THEIR children? Can't they cut me some slack here?!?" And yet- just five years ago I had a toddler and even I have forgotten.
I wonder how many other things I will forget when I have left the seasons that I am living in right now? Will I forget the laundry mountain-high? Will I forget the trailing ducklings at the grocery store? The growling bellies and eager eaters every mealtime and the huge portions of food I once had to make? Or the wait for everyone to catch up or come with or get ready to leave. It is always waiting...waiting...waiting. What it was like to always have someone to talk to- every second of the day? I hope I remember that. I hope I don't remember how many times I have to wipe muddy footprints from the floor. `On second thought, I hope I do... so that when I am old and walking into the homes of my grown children with their childrens' muddy shoe prints leading a path to the kitchen I will know just what it was like to have trailing children coming and going constantly throughout the day. So that I will give grace (maybe even help!) just like I wish for grace myself these days.
One thing that I know for certain is that one day I will be sitting in a clean, freshly mopped very organized house with every little thing in its' rightful place and I will be very, very lonely.
One day I will miss this.
I noticed the other day that the last time I had blogged was Feb. 1st. That is 21 days since my last confession. (har har) I can hardly believe it! There has been sickies and stories, schooling and snacking, Valentines, birthdays and enveloping it all~ plenty of snow and ice. By the end of the week it will be about 60 degrees (!!!) so now is a good time to be posting February snow pictures. Maybe this will be the end of winter snow? One can only hope.
Already the view has gone from winter white to MUD. I've been longing for COLOR. So we bring out paints, I buy a few flowers and I scour the seed catalogs- I'm getting an order ready. We weave red paper hearts and hang them in every room. I bring out the frozen blueberries and take pictures with all due respect and admiration for the vibrant root vegetables we are eating for supper.
Matt got me the book The Things We Couldn't Say for Christmas. I forced myself to wait to read it until I finished my last book which was hard but now I am ready. I've been devouring it every evening. I stay up WAY too late every night with it- reading by twinkle lights so I don't disturb Matt. My Oma and Opa were a part of the Dutch Resistance during World War II and I can't help but feel I am reading them in between the letters and lines of the page. I feel close to them when I read it, and my admiration and astonishment for the strength and bravery and faith they (and all those like them) showed during that time is revived.
On the crafty side of things, I've been working on woodburning a sign for Matt for his birthday. It was pretty time consuming and took me several days to complete. I also knit him a hat with some yarn he had bought me at Christmas. It was a dark blue yarn with white specks and I used an army green to make a small stripe in it. I started to knit a hat for his twin brother using the same pattern but with inverted coloring~ green with a blue band but I wasn't able to get it done before the party. Thankfully, it was to be in addition to another gift so we still had something to give him. I can look at it like I failed in giving him his birthday hat OR I can look at it as I already have a head start on Christmas crafting! ;-)
I am learning that joy can be found pretty easily...
it's all in how you look at things.