A friend asked me one morning: is homemaking archaic, or does it have value? I answered yes and yes–that we’ve made it archaic by losing both the home and the making, but it does have value. This is part two; you can read part one here.
The baby gear industry is a huge and profitable one, especially for first-time parents who have no idea what to expect. But my father’s eldest brother came a month earlier than expected, and my grandmother used to love to tell me that all they had for him was ten diapers and a couple of shirts, and they pulled out a dresser drawer for him to sleep in. Somehow he turned out alright.
The more children we’ve had, the more I’ve found myself becoming a baby stuff minimalist. We bought a swing with Ephraim (which I never turned on) and sold it when I was pregnant with Clive. By the time Elvie and Eldore came along, I wasn’t even using our bouncy seats or baby bath. I’ve never had an exersaucer or jumparoo, and even my trusty Johnny-Jump-Up wasn’t useful for all the kids. We survived!
Eldore Rex turned eleven months on October the 19th.
A friend sent me a text one morning, before the children were up, after my eggs and toast and coffee had been made and eaten but not cleaned up after, with this question: is homemaking archaic, or does it have value?
I answered yes and yes. It’s archaic because we’ve both intentionally and unintentionally made it obsolete (by destroying the two things that make up the term–the home and making–rendering them both disconnected and useless); but it is valuable, whether we as a society will recognize it or not.
Is the home valuable? What is the message of the home? Why does it exist? Why make one? Why make one? Why must it be made? Can’t it make itself?
I want to work through my thoughts on this topic. It will probably take more than one post–and I will try this time (I really will) to finish the posts and thus present a complete and coherent thought. I want to apologize in advance for referencing works while assuming you, my reader, are familiar with them; it would take too much space to explain everything thoroughly.
Eldore Rex turned ten months on the 19th of September.
I missed his nine-month post, partially because I was sick and partially because he started crawling not long after he turned nine months, and there just wasn’t a whole lot interesting to say about the previous month in comparison.
So that’s our biggest news: all of his efforts reaching for things, getting up on one knee or maybe both, and rocking, rocking, rocking back and forth finally paid off in forward motion. Now there is simply no stopping him. He is into everything–I’m sure you’re shocked–he spends his time busily crawling from cabinet to cabinet and drawer to drawer to find all the things he’s not supposed to touch.
The year was 2017, and Eldore Rex upset the whole thing. From the early Spring when I found out I was pregnant, to the garden I was unable to plant for morning sickness and first trimester fatigue, to the summer activities I could hardly participate in for pain, to the Autumn I barely had thought for as I tried to scrape our lives and routine back together in preparation for a new baby, all ending on that lovely November evening, just a few days before Thanksgiving, when he was born.
This post was originally written in November of 2017, and probably never finished because Eldore was born just a few days later. The emotional upheaval did recede with his birth, like I thought it would, and we have enjoyed a lovely nearly-nine-months of having him in our family.
He was five years old and he could barely contain his disappointment as he stood there, barefoot, in the path between the garden rows. One older brother already had his hands in the dirt, and one little brother was busy making sure his sister wasn’t digging any seeds out of the dirt. I was pulling baby tomato plants out and laying them out to check the spacing. I didn’t look up from my work, but I could see his feet, and I could hear his voice. He has asked what reward there will be for helping with planting, and he’s been told by his father there will be none.
He wasn’t happy with that answer.
We went for a walk yesterday through the orchard. It’s hard to call it that–it still looks like a motley collection of twigs stuck in the ground. It doesn’t quite have the feel of a real, mature, fruit-bearing orchard; though it will, of course, become that with care and time.
Eldore Rex joined us one month ago today.
I wasn’t entirely happy with his birthdate–11/19/17. It was, I believe, because the numbers are all odd. Or maybe it was because our previous address was 1120 and I was hoping for 11/20/17 subconsciously. At any rate, he was less than an hour and a half early for the 11/20 birthdate, a fact that in hindsight I’m not too concerned about, seeing as it kept my “labor” down to around two hours instead of three-and-a-half hours, a story that will be recounted in more detail in his birth story, should I ever have time to sit down and write it. Anyway, the point is that here we are on December 19, and Eldore Rex is one month old today, not tomorrow.