With Bea and Tilly Woo

Generally speaking, relaxing isn’t my special talent.  As we all know, the saying, “A mother’s work is never done,” is quite true.  I have a hard time putting everything I need to accomplish to the back of my mind in order to stay in the moment, and sometimes, take a little break.  This quality isn’t one of my best because it leads to stress and general unpleasantness.

My kids all seem to know how to relax.  I wonder if I did as well at some point in my distant past, but lost the ability somewhere along the way.  Is that simply part of being a grown-up?  Forgetting how to “play?” It shouldn’t have to be.

I tend to fall into the trap of belief that accomplishing those never-ending items on my mental to-do list will bring me peace, but in reality it often becomes a fruitless chase.  Yes, I must do my work, but it is also important to abandon my list both mentally and physically on a regular basis.

Yesterday while Mabel took an early evening nap, I stepped away from our house and all the work for a walk.  I carried my camera, something I don’t do quite so often these days.  I brought along our naughty “Tilly-Woo” and Beatrix joined me as well.  We stayed out till almost dark playing with Tilly and picking pokeberries. I didn’t have to worry about dinner because we were eating leftovers.  It was the perfect evening.  I wondered why I don’t do this more frequently.  Maybe because we don’t have leftovers for dinner often enough?

I guess the moral of my story is that if you cook enough food for dinner on Monday, you might actually get to relax a little on Tuesday.  And in my case, I might end up with some pokeberry yarn.

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Lady of Intrigue and Mystery

I was exiting the library this weekend (I only took my big girls this time) when I was stopped by a stranger.  She asked me, “Did you go to J.M.?”  Though what I heard was, “Did you go to jail?”  My immediate thought was, “Does she mean as an inmate, or a visitor?”  Rather than ask her to clarify, I just stood there for a moment looking dazed and confused until she repeated herself.  This time I understood that she was asking me about a university, not prison.  I answered, “Nope,”  and she went on to tell me that I look just like someone she knew there.  She concluded with a big smile and a “Well, congratulations, anyway!” and we parted.  I didn’t have Mabel with me, so she wasn’t talking about my new baby.  But I was wearing this green linen dress.  It is loose and swing-y and could definitely pass for maternity.  It isn’t breastfeeding friendly, but it is incredibly comfortable, and I love it.  I wear it when I have an hour or two away from Mabel.

I do have a “baby bump” which can be confusing to strangers who don’t know that I actually had a baby two months ago.  I’d love to say to myself with a smile that it takes nine months to grow a baby, and nine months to lose the weight, or whatever the saying is.  But I know better.  It doesn’t really matter how much weight I lose.  I will, short of plastic surgery (I’m thinking no to that), always have a baby bump.  I’d also love to say that I’m totally fine with that.  I’m not, though strangers’ comments don’t bother me.  It’s more their embarrassment that makes me cringe when I say, “Actually, I’m not pregnant.”  To the woman who congratulated me on the library steps, I smiled wide and said, “Thank you!”  There was no reason to say anything else.  It really doesn’t matter if a stranger thinks I am pregnant.  But, things get tricky when I am asked when I’m due.  I confess, I’ve made up a due date before just to avoid the awkwardness.  “October!”

Because I have a small frame and a pretty decent “bump,” this has been an issue for years.  I once contemplated making an “I’m not pregnant” button to wear, but decided against it.  For now, I am trying to embrace the concept of mystery.  Is she pregnant?  Or is she not?  Who can know?  Lady of intrigue and mystery:  that’s me.  I love how intriguing my baby bump makes me!  (okay, yeah right.)  I’ve got work to do in the self acceptance arena.  Lot’s of it.  I think most of us do, though I doubt any of us would trade our children for our former bodies.  But wouldn’t it be nice to have your cake and eat it too?  Actually, in my case, I’d like ice cream.

Of course all this is beside the point of these photographs.  I really just wanted to share this scarf that I finished awhile back and forgot to get pictures of.  This was my first time knitting a substantial project in linen, and I loved it!  This scarf will be gifted soon, just in time for fall weather.