My sister Abby sent me a package last week and taped to the outside was a poem. Hopefully you can read it in the photo above. I read it and was just delighted by it, so much so that I cut it out and saved it. She texted me later, “Did you get the package I sent yet, with the highly unrealistic poem taped to the outside?” I told her that I did and that I loved it. Yes, it is highly unrealistic. But there is some part of me that likes to believe that this could be a reality for some. A tidy existence where everything is under control. It’s really a dangerous way to think, because if it’s possible for someone else, then it must be possible for me as well, if I could just _______________ (fill in the blank.) This kind of thinking tends to lead to discouragement for me, because I’m never able to fill in the blank. I may be accomplishing plenty of needful things, but in the meantime the weeds are still growing and my little boys may very well be making a gigantic mud mess in the front yard unbeknownst to me. (If this happens to you, take photos. You’ll want them someday when the discouragement over your laundry mess is long past.)
And really, life is uncontrollable, unpredictable, and messy. Even the lives of those who seem so tidy on the outside. Rest assured, no one who knows me is confused on that point. My life is messy inside and out, and quite obviously so! But we’re managing pretty well here. I’m having my worst ever flare up of thyroid related symptoms, but think I know where I went wrong and am hoping to feel better soon. I’m getting through school with the kids each day and that is my number one goal. Silas is still resisting with all his might, but Job is quite the opposite, begging for math and reading lessons and making my mornings a little less frustrating. One routine that we have settled into nicely is starting out with handwriting while I read from the Bible and Catechism. We always do that first, and it helps the boys settle down. My girls tend to listen and write as well before heading off to do their own math lessons.
Week before last was dominated by character analysis papers that Gabe and Keats had to write on Lord of the Flies. I hadn’t read it in probably 30 years, and in order to help, reread about half of it and spent hours discussing it. I kept imagining Silas and Job as part of the story (with horror). And when I discovered the new mud pit in the front yard and the two of them throwing giant globs of mud at each other, my thoughts immediately turned to Lord of the Flies and the early days on the island before things went downhill. Just a bunch of little boys with no grownups to interfere in their fun. (If you haven’t read it, be warned that it is rather disturbing.) The last few weeks for us have been awfully full of little boy drama. Silas had a tree house building accident that resulted in nine stitches, and that has been followed by burns, scrapes, and puncture wounds, leading me to double check tetanus shot records and sigh loudly again and again. These boys! Gabe and I exchange glances, shake our heads and say, “Lord of the Flies,” now at each new catastrophe. I’m happy to be sharing books with Gabe and Keats this year, grateful really. This week we are discussing Melville’s Benito Cereno, which I ended up liking! It’s super complex and I’m glad I read it. Next up for my boys will be Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Now that’s a weird story.
p.s. I finally finished preparing all of my goldenrod yarn and plan to update my shop on Thursday at 11 am ET. There will be goat’s milk soap too!
p.p.s. Here’s a post of Larkspur and her friend Josie from five years ago. They have grown up so much! They still love many of the same things though: plants, dressing up in playsilks, and putting on fancy makeup.
p.p.p.s. See if you can spot the hummingbird in the fourth photo from the top. They get trapped in our garage sometimes and we have to catch them in nets and release them outside. It’s neat to get to see them up close but also so sad to see them exhaust themselves trying to escape.