Sometime in the past month I realized I was posting pictures, pictures, pictures but hardly any words. And I thought, Erin, this whole blogging, sharing thing is really weird if it’s all pictures and no words.
I have been trying to gather words. They come to me at odd moments, like while folding laundry or when stepping out of the shower, when I take notice of a thought that seems almost coherent, but not quite complete enough to share alone. I assemble these thoughts as best I can, and when I have enough, I make a post like this.
This is a God-honest example of an out-of-the-shower thought. Midsummer celebrations are all very well, but I would really like a celebration for that first day after summer when you walk outdoors and there is no humidity. That is, quite possibly, the best day of the year. What could you call it? Names given to things always sound kind of odd at the beginning. We could call it Humigone. But pronounced like a Greek Hero’s name: hyoo-MIH-guh-nee. Bonus points because it has the same cadence as humidity. I think it could catch on. “What are you all doing for Humigone this year?” Of course it would be difficult because it would be different date every year, but the spontaneous nature of it could be its most exciting feature. There could be bonfires, and some kind of special food, TBD.
All of this mashed into the few seconds between turning off water and towel.
The spring and summer has been filled with babies and housework (both the cleaning and remodeling types) and school and finding routines and then finding new ones as the old became obsolete. Beatrice grows and develops (she is three months old, now) and I adjust with her, and the household routine is tweaked in the process. Now that we’re in her third month and things have calmed down somewhat, that tweaking and adjusting will become a little less frenzied and frequent.
The boys started piano lessons, and then we stopped while the piano was broken for a few weeks. Those two facts are not necessarily related. The piano is over a hundred years old; it was a gift from my Great-Grandfather to my Great-Grandmother, and it’s the piano that my Grandmother played and the one on which she taught me to play. Some of the pieces-parts inside wear out occasionally, and then Jeremy and my dad have to haul out my maternal grandfather’s Piano Repair Stuff ™ and take the whole thing apart to fix it.
The cessation of lessons came at a good time, however, as I could not find when in the day to actually practice with the boys between meals and housekeeping and feeding the baby and getting the baby to sleep and spending time with the smaller children and homeschooling and trying not to feel like a robot with a stopwatch. (“We don’t have time to read another chapter! It’s already xyz-o’clock and I have to get dinner started!) (Now you know all my secrets.)
But now that things have mellowed out a bit, and the piano is fixed, and I’ve taken a deep breath and am excited to start again.
The kitchen is almost workable, the one obstacle being an obstinate refrigerator that won’t stay cool. But things work enough in there for us to make coffee in it every morning, and for me to wash the coffee cups
every afternoon occasionally. (I realize that sentence would have sounded so much nicer if I could have paralleled “every morning” and “every afternoon” but it’s just not true, and if I published it that way Jeremy would laugh at me and hurt my feelings, like he did when I bought that laundry hamper with the vintage logo that boasted “same day service”.) (The cups do get washed before they’re reused, though. It’s just that all the dishwashing happens at the Ham House, still.)
The basement got a major overhaul once we were able to move our furniture back upstairs. And by “major overhaul” I mean a good clean-out, reorganizing and rearranging which it almost finished. I have a space for my sewing–for the first time ever–and I am extremely excited about this. There’s places for reading and places for movie-watching and places being built for computers for learning to type and code and places for building with legos (see photos). I should have pictures of the space, but I’ll probably (maybe) make posts about the basement when it’s all organized and I start painting and things, so for now you’ll have to just imagine it.
We started school back when Beatrice was two weeks old, and I rearranged everyone’s routines so that we did our formal work while Elvie and Eldore were napping (and Beatrice too, if I planned it right.) I decided to add Anselm into our Formal Work Crew even though technically he doesn’t start until the autumn of 2020. I figured I would give him a couple of preschool workbooks so he felt like he was doing stuff, too. He liked it so much that he learned how to read. We had a celebration as a family when he finished his first reader “without guessing the words”. The boy is incredibly tenacious when it comes to doing whatever his big brothers are doing.
I could probably make a list (thought I won’t right now) of the supreme lesson I learned through each of the children as newborns. Eldore, for example, changed my understanding of caring for a baby from work to rest. Beatrice’s lesson, I am beginning to sense, is to pay attention. I mean that in the sense of not doing things out of pure habit or autopilot. This is hard to do, but I am determined to do it.