Sofia will be turning 11 soon. This written but unpublished post from about four years ago still holds quite a bit of truth. Sofia has learned a lot about planning ahead (too much?) and is a list maker, especially at bed-time. But she is still bold in trying new things – starting a recipe with step one without reading all the way through. She does check to make sure we have all the ingredients. I am also more comfortable – well, down-right proud of – her ability to jump in. I think she has learned some from me, and I know I have learned a LOT from her.
My baby turned 7 last week. I am now one of those parents whose children can dress themselves, buckle themselves into the car, read to themselves. While our children have always had their own personality, they are all at the age where they can express them in so many ways – in their own ways.
I’m sure I loved having babies. My first two pregnancies I loved being pregnant. But I LOVE having older children. I love their independence and their coming to own their place in the world.
Sofia is our child that is most like Marc. She MIGHT even exceed him in his extroverted approach to life. She is the child that is MOST unlike me. Right now this creates a natural conflict, because she really isn’t certain that I know what I am doing in my role as mother – and that I have some control in her life. Her name means wisdom, and I have been known to ask her at what point she will acquire some – her impulsiveness looking like irresponsibility to me (and my responsibility looking like over-cautiousness to her).
I don’t get not knowing the outcome before I start. When I have situations that I need to be involved in not knowing the outcome, this is high stress for me. Over-planning stresses Sofia out.
Sofia got a sewing machine for her birthday. In a moment of wisdom (mine) I realized I didn’t need to give her too much information. When Anna got her sewing machine a couple years ago, they were accompanied with several how to sew books. With Sofia, it was a enough to show her how to get the machine threaded and plugged in and to keep her fingers out of the way.
And she was off. Trying different stitches. Turning corners. Rounding edges. Making little bags with handles.
No, it won’t go into an Etsy shop right away. But that’s not the point. The point is that she did it, AND I let her.
written in the Fall of 2012 – found in Evernote
Not a plantain, but often called a weed. 🙂
My friend Izzie – there are so many cool things about her. Our youngest girls are best friends – they probably don’t remember a time when the other wasn’t there. We eat, talk, pray, play guitar and sing together. Izzie and I will sit around a talk about nothing and then she will ask ‘how is it with your soul?’ And it’s okay. (It wouldn’t be okay coming from a lot of people.)
But the thing that I think is most cool about Izzie today happened today. Anna got stung. Her first sting. And it hurt. I ran to get some salve for her and Izzie ran to the front yard saying something under her breath as she went. She came back in with a leaf and asked for a mortar and pestle. I don’t happen to have one hanging around my house so Izzie asked if I minded her saliva mixed with this plant that it became apparent was going to be put on the sting site.
Izzie chewed. Izzie applied. We held the chewed plantain onto the sting site with band aid. Ice applied to held numb the site as the plantain drew the poison from the stinger out. Anna felt better. So did I.
Everyone should have a friend who will chew on yard weeds to comfort your child.
If we happen to be friends on FB or Instagram, you saw that most of my posts were somehow about ‘Girls Camp’. Caleb has been at music camp since last Saturday, and Marc had a trip in the middle of the week. When the girls and I talked about our days without the boys and what our options were, their choice was to ‘just stay home and chill; and maybe sleep on the pullout couch’.
I was relieved that they didn’t take me up on any of the driving or overnight adventures that we discussed (as much as I don’t like our current mattress, there is still no bed like home; and I’d really like to use summer gas money for things our whole family will do together). I was thrilled that they find our home time just as special as some of the other adventures that were offered to them – that says a lot, right. And I wasn’t really sure how it was all going to play out.
So, I created Girls Camp. And here is a secret about Girls Camp. They have no idea they were at it. It’s okay if you tell them or ask them about it. They know I took pictures and posted them. They know that we girls hung out quietly and together at home. They did get to sleep on the couch (I will NEVER understand that appeal). We watched movies, played games, and swam. We all had rhythms of getting work and play done. From the outside, I don’t know if you would have noticed that anything out of the ordinary was happening in our lives.
I created Girls Camp for myself. It became a constant reminder to slow down and to say yes. It Named our cloistered together time and made it sacred in my mind and heart and approach. It set apart the very ordinary into a very sacred time. The girls may or may not have any idea that I created a Name for our days. But you don’t have to know the name to know that you are walking in a special place. And I am beyond a doubt certain that the past few days will rank pretty high as we recall the special days of Summer 2014.
We’ve been having some weather this winter. Like almost the rest of the country. Being Mainers we keep telling ourselves ‘we’ve got this’, but truthfully, this winter is one that I can see us remembering as the Winter of 13 or 14 (who decides that stuff?).
Because we both homeschool and use some of the programs available at our local public school, we put a fair number of miles on the cars transporting our kids to this class or that and home again.
Marc and I were comparing notes on our approach to a particular hill that we traverse on our trip to the high school.
During a snow storm before Christmas, I took an alternate route with a dramatically decreased incline AND that didn’t end in a stream. I pointed out to Caleb (who WILL be driving in a short time) my strategy for creating a safe route.
Marc took Caleb to jazz band this morning (6:45 rehearsals… how awesome is our director to be available to lead this group at that hour!) and mentioned that he took the hill straight on (yes we have inches of ice built upon our roads all over town) and HE took the opportunity to explain to Caleb the strategies of safe braking when faced with a hill like that.
I love that illustration of how we parent. We approached a similar trial in a different way – neither right nor wrong. I love that God puts parents together so that kids (hopefully you didn’t marry a clone) get multiple approaches to life. I love that even though we taught a different approach, we both took the opportunity to teach.
I am determined to get more pictures of us together this year! January 1, 2014.
Anna is studying the Eastern Hemisphere this year. I am over the top excited about this curriculum. My entire school career never extended beyond Europe… so much of the world and her people were hardly acknowledged. We didn’t use this core for Caleb. So it is brand new to all of us. The first six weeks have been spent studying the history of China.
In addition to history, we gets to ‘choose her own adventure’ three weeks out of the six. Last week, she composed a piece of music that used only 5 notes. Today she made egg rolls. Next week she will do a fashion show that includes traditional women’s wear from three dynasties featuring her AG doll Josefina.
Egg rolls was a big stretch for us. I have never cooked on the stove top with oil. I needed to call a friend to find out where to find the egg roll wrappers in the store (thanks Izzie!). We were all very much first-time egg roll makers. But we did it, and had great success. Anna even taught her Dad and sister how to fold up the egg roll.
The recipe we used was from allrecipes: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-egg-rolls/. I went for easy to follow. Next time we will do some more playing around with flavors. The egg rolls were extra special because both the cabbage and carrots came straight from my Dad’s garden. Now that we have done it once, it seems like an easy meal to continue to tweak and make until it is our very own PitmanEggRoll.
(I keep thinking that cookie dough would be a yummy egg roll dessert… what do you think?)