We are a bit over halfway through our summer break, Claire and I.  It's funny how now as the mother of a young child, even though my paid work is on a hiatus it doesn't feel like there's been an enormous change.  Likely because my paid work amounts to only about 15 hours a week during the school year, but also, I think, because the unpaid work of mothering is all consuming.  Whether it's summer break or not.  It just is what it is.  My days are dictated largely by her needs and wants and there are quite a few more hours in the day to fill beyond those 3 hours a day I'll be working again come mid-August.

But still.  Of course I've noticed some differences.  I am a big fan of not having to go to work for a while.  I acknowledge that it is a gift of sorts, one for which I am very grateful.  Laziness, I dare say, suits me well.  But let's call it something else, shall we?

Do-nothingness.  Lackadaisicalness.

It doesn't really matter what I call it, I just love that the days are deliciously ours.  Whether or not we decide to do much beyond the house and yard.  And often we don't.  Many days are spent waking slowly, making breakfast and then lingering over it, then exploring the yard and garden with coffee in hand to see what, if anything, has changed since the day before.  A few more strawberries, a tomato ripening, the trickling in of first raspberries and now blueberries.  We'll probably max out at about a pint of blueberries this first year with our 6 bushes, not all of which are fruiting yet.  But one day, maybe we'll make jam with our own berries.  We collect a few eggs, toss some corn to the hens, watch birds at the new bird feeder outside her window.  Maybe make some art.  Maybe visit some friends or walk or ride into town.  Perhaps the library.  Often there is a good amount of drama thrown in there, too.  She is nearly two and a half after all and is most certainly finding her personality and making her desires known.  I am constantly reminding myself that I need not get flustered.  I just need to be there, to hear her, offer what I can, step away if things get too angsty.  It is a dance that I find quite challenging sometimes, but I take heart in knowing that it's just part of it.  All of it.  And that each thing will pass to make room for the next and there will be beauty and there will be ugliness but that it is all meaningful and necessary.  I think about how, if adults always behaved, at any given moment, how we truly felt right then and there, things would seem quite different.  I remember that and it helps me ride out the harder moments with her a bit more easily.  We are human.  We are emotion.  I don't remember how trying and confusing it was to be a toddler.  She reminds me of that and puts me in my place.  Her parent, her guide.  "Oh wow, I'm her guide" I think.  That grounds me and reminds me that I had better find my own calm before attempting to do anything as remarkably important as guiding another developing little human being.

Well.  That paragraph started with synonyms for laziness and took quite a turn.  I've done a decent job this past week of getting myself to sleep earlier, shutting off the computer earlier.  That has resulted in much less writing and as I sit here, aiming to briefly chronicle our past few summer days, much more seems to be pouring out.  Part of that is simply the aim to be honest.  To not send out the message that our world is all berries and bliss.  There are berries, and occasionally bliss.  But there's all that other stuff too.  The stuff of households and marriages and parents and children the whole world over.

But now I'd like to return to these summer days.  These fleeting summer days.  I feel just a wee little bit of a flame under myself these days.  Nudging me ever so slightly to make some plans.  To go, to do, to see, feel and taste the summer before it's over.  More ice cream dates, picnics, waterfalls, trails.  More berry picking and paddling and exploring and bike rides.  At least one more camping trip.  A visit, somehow and somewhere, to the coast.

And a whole bunch more lackadaisicalness, too.  After all, if I'm really gonna call it like it is then I've got to admit that we are essentially a trio of homebodies.


  1. Do you make your own chicken feed by chance? A farm up the road is selling 1100 pounds of wheatberries for use as chicken feed for $100. Seems like a steal, but when I look up feed recipes, I get overwhelmed by all the ingredients. It seems overly complicated. How did people do it way back when?

    Mama & Music Man

    1. I do not~ but I saw a link to a recipe I liked on Ashley English's blog (small measure) a week or so ago. I tried to find it to send a link to you but I'm having trouble tracking it down right now. Looks doable. I think I'm going to price it all soon and do some comparing. 1100 pounds of wheatberries sound like quite a lot- the recipe I saw used maybe 7 or 8 (or so) different kinds of grains, etc. so that much of one thing may sit around for a while! Who knows. I think a lot of people probably just threw their hens some scraps and a little grain and other than that let them fend for themselves! Surely it doesn't have to be as complicated as we make it these days, right?


thanks for taking the time to read and comment~