Thursday evening I made the indulgent decision to sit down in a chair by the fire, and not get up until I had finished reading Howard’s End. Silas and the girls were already in bed, and I asked my boys not to disturb me. Seth and Keats mostly honored my wishes, and took turns quietly snuggling next to me in the chair. Gabe sat nearby. He would never snuggle in a chair with me. I understand.
I watched Howard’s End about a year ago, and all I can say is that I must have been knitting lace or picking up stitches because I didn’t remember anything that happened in the last third of the book. The story plunges ahead slowly and quietly and then all of a sudden I heard myself gasp aloud. It wasn’t hard to stay put and finish the book after that. I won’t call it one of my favorites, but I did enjoy it, and found it full of sentences and thoughts that I loved:
“…those who prepare for all the emergencies of life beforehand may equip themselves at the expense of joy.” (amen)
“Death destroys a man; the idea of Death saves him.” (chapter notes indicate that Michelangelo was the source of this quote)
“He has worked very hard all his life, and noticed nothing.” (slow down…always notice)
Speaking of reading, my mom mentioned the other night that she has been reading more lately due to a bout of insomnia (family plague.) With great feeling she said to me, “Ginny, I really like Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. They leave the boring parts out. I feel like I’ve found the most awesome thing in the world. Russ and I have been scouring Goodwill, looking for more of them.” For some reason I squealed with glee before collapsing with laughter as she spoke. I love when that happens, when something said in ordinary conversation delights me to no end. My mom is funny. And you know, I think she is getting funnier. There’s a lightness in that, and I love it. We laugh together even when we are talking about the bad stuff. Good medicine. Anyway, the Reader’s Digest condensed version of Howard’s End would be about ten pages long.
Yesterday I came home from a little tea party that the girls and I attended to find a package, which the girls of course opened for me. Jonny commented that he could smell it as soon as he opened the mailbox, and it smelled really good. Inside was a bundle of goodies, a welcome gift from Rachel. I was expecting a few baby care products, but there were some things for me too. I sent off a joyous thank you email, and Rachel replied that she sensed lately that I needed a little something for me. She was so right. My bathroom smells amazing right now. Move over Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap.
This morning I came downstairs to discover that my girls, inspired by yesterday’s tea party, were throwing me a little “pretend birthday” breakfast tea. I ignored the fact that at the root of it all, they were probably just hoping that I would bake something, and sipped my tea with them while opening gifts. I got a window decoration made from post it notes, and a ring made of the same with a bit of tape to hold it together. It was all very special. I love pretend birthdays.
It’s true that I have been feeling overwhelmed a good bit lately (I feel like I am constantly saying this, but it isn’t really a constant feeling.) A friend reminded me that a new baby is supposed to do that, to slow things down, and that things can feel a little crazy for at least the first year (you’d think I’d have figured that out by now.) I am so busy loving Silas and honestly enjoying every minute with him, that I forgot. Taking care of a baby means less of everything else, and more…baby. Today the sun was shining and the temperature was crazy warm for January. I abandoned my home organization project and we ended up barefoot and in the grass. When we got tired of that Silas and I danced and laughed until he literally threw up all over himself (in a fit of giggles.) A bath followed and he splashed and laughed some more until I pulled him out, bundled him up, and nursed him down for a nap. I thought of all the joy, the laughter, and the healing he has brought our family. Many months ago, on the phone with my mom, she predicted that for us, and she was right.
Oh, and while I am talking about me…Jonny took pictures of my brass shawl this afternoon. I have wanted to add finished photos to Ravelry for months it seems, but doesn’t it feel ridiculous to pose for photos? It’s especially difficult if your husband turns the camera on you and instructs you to “look sexy.” Ahem…I don’t do that. He knows it. He loves to torture me with words that make me cringe. I do love this little shawl. The night I finished it, I actually slept with it like a baby blanket pulled against me. It looks silly wrapped around my neck on a warm day, but is quite lovely over my turquoise cardigan.
I hope your weekend is going well and that you are able to sneak in a little sunshine too.
(“I’m too sexy for my shawl.…”)