It seems I continually fight a battle to live a quieter, simpler life. The sort I think I read about, where children have hours to run free in a meadow chasing butterflies, while Mum sits in a shady spot sipping tea and reading a book. Having purposefully stepped off the conventional parenting treadmill, I often seem to be creating one of our own. I sometimes feel like a hamster, running around on my own little wheel, getting nowhere!
After our blissfully slow time away over half term, we’ve rushed headlong back into normal term time routines. While we do have time to ramble in the countryside, to read together, to brew and drink pots of tea, I do have to be intentional about creating the space for this, and too often I fail, with consequences all round. I sometimes wonder what will be the chorus of our childrens’ childhood; I’d love it to be the words of affirmation, love and truth I speak to them, but I sometimes wonder if it may be “hurry up, we’re running late!”
I periodically mark a quiet day on the calendar, thus ensuring nothing is booked in and we can have one of those blissful, unhurried days at home. However, I also love and appreciate the richness of our lives, the people we see, the places we go, the activities we are involved with. I’m grateful to have such a varied life, and I guess with six of us, there is always going to be something going on.
So, here are a few of the things we’ve been up to over the last three weeks.
Rnythm Dude turned sixteen. He celebrated with a trip to the cinema and a burger with friends. The cake was at home. My cake decorating skills haven’t come on much since his first birthday!
We celebrated Shrove Tuesday with Rhythm Dude’s cool drum teacher. He’s nearly eighty and has drummed with entertainers we only know as household names. We listen spellbound to his stories.
The girls and I spent one of our Girls’ Fun Fridays at home, making ice cream (a science experiment too as salt in the outer bag lowers the freezing point of ice, thus stealing energy from the milk mixtrure and turning it into ice cream),
a favourite salad, and then helping at the World Day of Prayer at our church.
We spent another Friday meeting with home ed friends at a National Trust property; a truly soul restoring day for me. I bribed the girls with various sweet treats while us two mums sat cradling hot drinks and talking deeply.
We met up with a couple of other families to watch a local amateur production; myself and my friend didn’t really get it (!) but the girls sat good as good with popcorn and a few sweets. It took place in the most stunning school hall I’ve ever seen.
And probably the highlight for me was a trip to the Big City with the boys. We went to listen to a performance of Schubert’s ninth symphony alongside a few other pieces. The music was wonderful; the orchestra is mainly amateur which leaves me in awe. Both boys had things to celebrate so we had pizza first and it was so special to spend time with them.
So, as we move into these next few weeks of term, I’m so thankful for the fullness of our lives, but I’m going to try to remember there are a limited number of hours in each day!