One of the projects I was most excited about this summer is one of those purely delight-driven, purely fanciful little endeavors that make the best kind of memories: a sunflower house. We attempted one once, years ago, in Washington. I probably should have just hand-fed sprouts to the slugs for all the good it did me. I think we grew three sunflowers that year, which was lovely, but it wasn’t a house. It didn’t create the sweet little hideaway I had hoped for. Call me a pessimist, but I never tried again.
Work while you work.
Play while you play.
This is the way
to be happy and gay.
One thing at a time.
And done well.
Is the best of rules,
As many can tell.
So, work while you work,
And play while you play.
–English nursery rhyme
Last week, I was gifted the opportunity to sit down with one of my favorite people and discuss one of our favorite topics. I recorded a podcast with my husband, and seriously, it was so much fun.
One of the unexpected blessings of family photo accounts is that you never quite know what you might get when you open your app. Over the years, I’ve been met with myriad shots of interesting insects, countless selfies, and more than a few videos of kids riding, scooting, crawling, jumping, dancing, or otherwise doing something deemed noteworthy by some random family member. It’s fun, usually, to see snippets of daily life I missed right here under my roof through the eyes of my husband or kids.
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We’re shifting gears here, moving into the new rhythm that will define our summer months here on the farm. Priorities are shifting, the things that claim the bulk of our time are changing.
The sun is out. The weather is finally getting warm. The kids have been antsy since March. O.k., truth— you have been antsy since March. The house that felt so warm and inviting as you settled in to the start of your school year last fall is suddenly claustrophobic. The thrilling books are falling flat, the manipulative-heavy math suddenly seems too involved to even haul off the shelf.
Amidst the swirl of a week chock full of end of year events, an almost unnoticed milestone is being celebrated at our house today; Mathaus is wrapping up his junior year of high school.
There won’t be any fanfare. Mathaus isn’t the kid who enjoys celebration, although he has been generous enough to tell me that if I need him to walk across a stage next spring to commemorate the end of the 12 years I’ve spent homeschooling him, he’ll do it. Because he loves me. (Seriously, this kid is amazing.)
Some day, I will eat a hot meal.
Some day, no one will bang on the bathroom door.
Milestones routinely sneak up on me. I’m pretty short-sighted by design; my heart is too easily bogged down by the realization that life is far shorter and far faster than I’d like, so I keep my eyes just a few paces ahead of my feet at any given moment. The down side to this self-imposed near-sightedness is that sometimes I wake up and discover that my baby is turning two.
You’ve decided that you want to be purposeful in crafting a Family Culture that reflects your beliefs and values. You’ve identified the things that you value and want to communicate to your children above all else. You’ve realized that you need to aggressively curate the life of your family.