It’s disturbingly hot.
This evening the baby and I watered the garden. I have a red tin watering can, and when you fill it from the hose it makes a huge racket. The baby sqeals and runs away, then laughs and runs back to see. He sticks his hand in to slosh the water around, and then points to the dusty garden.
We watered the pumpkins and the strawberries, then the lavender. The lavender was best – water on hot leaves made the scent rise through the air. Finally I watered the rhubarb, but I don’t think it will survive the heat.
I haven’t done much to the garden this year. It was Ryan’s thing, really… so I sort of neglected it on purpose. No, that’s not true. It just never made it up the list past caring for the baby, caring for me, sorting out a separation and finding a job.
Now I’m discovering plants are very forgiving. I came back from my Christmas holiday to find a jungle of tomatoes and herbs in the veggie patch. The corn is as tall as I am, and the mulberry sapling, which I thought succumbed to the frost, has sprouted four new branches.
The baby loves it. He stubs his toes on the concrete every single day, but he keeps running anyway. He picks the cherry tomatoes but doesn’t eat them. He does eat the plums and the strawberries when he can get them. And when he’s tired of gardening, we blow bubbles in the hammock.
December 20 – Beyond Avoidance
What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)
(Author: Jake Nickell)
There are so many things I should have done this year. So many things I could have done.
I should have written more – and submitted more.
I should have climbed more, or danced more, or just gone bush more often.
I should have tried harder to heal my relationship, and been brave enough to speak up when my needs weren’t being met.
I should have confronted Ryan about all the pain and sadness I saw in him – but I didn’t, because I didn’t want to find out it was my fault.
But despite all I thought I needed to do, I achieved so much more.
I’ve got my house in order, physically, spiritually and financially.
I’ve been the best mama I am, every day.
I’ve found time to be deeply thankful for all of this.
Even though my to-do list is perpetually endless, and the same things keep sifting down to the bottom, life goes on. I try not to deal in ‘shoulds’. They wear me out.
Posted in everyday
I bring you five minutes of parenthood I hope I never forget:
- I have him in my arms as we walk to the car. I kiss him on the head, out of habit – but this time, for the first time, he smiles in response.
- On a friends lap in a cafe, he plays with teaspoons. I’ve been trying to get him to try solids for weeks, with no success. He won’t let anything near his mouth. But today he opens his mouth wide for a teaspoon of hoummus… and then wants more.
- Intent on the contents of the box, he picks up one toy, then another. He doesn’t realise that he no longer has a hand on the box for support. When he sees us watching, he claps the blocks together and sits down laughing.
- I’ve put him to bed and he’s yelling in outrage. I’m at the door, ready to go in, when he starts blowing raspberries instead, and singing to himself. I run away to laugh out of earshot.
- He is perplexed by the open screen door at grandma’s house. He sits on the threshold; lean out – lean in, lean out – lean in. He looks back at me, very serious, not sure if this is okay. When he sees my smile, he cracks an enormous, cheeky grin – and makes his escape.
December 14 – Appreciate
What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?
(Author: Victoria Klein)
I tend to hug my hurts inward, and keep my sadness away from those around me. This helps me keep it together, but it’s lonely.
This year was so hard, and the things I did were so big, that I couldn’t always keep it together. I had to reach out, ask for help and lean on my friends.
I was ashamed.
But, what I’ve learned, and what I’ve learned to appreciate, is other people. People who are fiercely loyal. People who love me when I’m a tearful wreck. People who want good things for me, even when I’m spewing negativity all over their kitchen. People who will build me up and feed me and remind me that I’m a good person, too.
This has been a hard year, but in a way it’s been worth it just to see how much better my friendships are when I’ve asked for help.
So consider this a big thank you to all my friends, near and far. Everyone who listened to my story, over and over. Everyone who watched me agonize over dumb decisions. Everyone who shared a coffee or a meal or a piece of cake. You know who you are.
You made my year.
December 11 – 11 Things
What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?
(Author: Sam Davidson)
Okay, I tried, I can’t do it. Instead, I bring you eleven things I want more of in 2011:
- Hugs and cuddles
- Laughing until I can’t breathe
- Inspiring work and inspired work
- Published words
- Meals with friends
- Captured moments
- Big dreams
- Feeling strong
- Live music
- Crazy adventures
- Good Night’s Sleeps
The door is open and I’m listening to the rain.
It’s warm and humid enough to feel the air against my skin.
I’m going to take my book and sit in the hammock and listen.
December 7 – Community
Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
(Author: Cali Harris)
Online I have found a community of my heart in the Goddess Guidebook Circle. Creativity, spirituality and sparkles in one gorgeous package – I’ve found some wonderful women and read some really, really big stories.
Offline, my book club has become a wonderful circle of wise women. We meet up in cafes and discuss the books for all of ten minutes before moving on to the important stuff like new loves, old jobs and crazy happenings. Because there’s always something crazy going on in our lives.
One of my big lessons this year was reaching out. When you only know somebody through mother’s group or a writing class, it can be hard to talk about the big things going on in your life. I’m Cancerian, and I tend to hug my hurts to myself, but this year I learnt how to share them and lean on my friends. Asking for help has really built a community for me, where offering help never quite bridged the gap.