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fresh air

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The house is quiet tonight. Elizabeth has been tucked in her crib for quite some time. Emma went to bed extra early after a meltdown. Dan fell asleep on the sofa after a tough day at work. And Mary was my sidekick, helping me finish up the last dinner dishes, setting the table for breakfast and sneaking off to her bed "quiet as a church mouse."

When I disappear from my blog, like I did last week, it is usually a sign that I’m overextended or something in my life is leaving me uninspired. And to be honest, I’m rarely that busy, so generally, it’s the latter. This last week, it has been continued battles with my dear six year old. Is there something about this age? Is it spring fever? I’m not sure, but I’m pulling out all my parenting know-how, all my former teacher know-how, all my "someone I know tried this" know-how, and I’m having little success. I love the girl for the way she feels her way through life, and dives into everything to the fullest–but at the same time–she feels everything and dives into everything to the fullest. It means lots of emotions, and ups and downs, and hurt feelings, and disappointment, and frustration….phew. I can hear my mother’s wisdom in my ears, "This too shall pass." I’m holding on to that truth.

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So for me, it means I need to work harder to find my moments to refuel and relax. I found one moment this evening–dinner was warming on the stove, Dan and the girls were off on a quick errand and Elizabeth was asleep. I stuffed the baby monitor in my coat, a pair of scissors in my back pocket and headed down to my grandmother’s gardens for something to brighten up my table.
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The sun was golden and the air was perfectly crisp. It was the breath of air in my lungs that I needed in order to face the rest of my evening with grace and joy.

And now, a quiet house, a kitchen "put to rights" (to quote Mr. Berry), some daffodils on my table, a dark house, except for the glow at my desk, and the prospect of a warm bed and a good book. Another breath of air in my lungs, a release for my mind and my heart and I’m ready to face another day with joy and grace.

And I hope you’ll see me here again tomorrow. That will be a good sign.   

P1010097

The house is quiet tonight. Elizabeth has been tucked in her crib for quite some time. Emma went to bed extra early after a meltdown. Dan fell asleep on the sofa after a tough day at work. And Mary was my sidekick, helping me finish up the last dinner dishes, setting the table for breakfast and sneaking off to her bed "quiet as a church mouse."

When I disappear from my blog, like I did last week, it is usually a sign that I’m overextended or something in my life is leaving me uninspired. And to be honest, I’m rarely that busy, so generally, it’s the latter. This last week, it has been continued battles with my dear six year old. Is there something about this age? Is it spring fever? I’m not sure, but I’m pulling out all my parenting know-how, all my former teacher know-how, all my "someone I know tried this" know-how, and I’m having little success. I love the girl for the way she feels her way through life, and dives into everything to the fullest–but at the same time–she feels everything and dives into everything to the fullest. It means lots of emotions, and ups and downs, and hurt feelings, and disappointment, and frustration….phew. I can hear my mother’s wisdom in my ears, "This too shall pass." I’m holding on to that truth.

P1010089

So for me, it means I need to work harder to find my moments to refuel and relax. I found one moment this evening–dinner was warming on the stove, Dan and the girls were off on a quick errand and Elizabeth was asleep. I stuffed the baby monitor in my coat, a pair of scissors in my back pocket and headed down to my grandmother’s gardens for something to brighten up my table.
P1010095
The sun was golden and the air was perfectly crisp. It was the breath of air in my lungs that I needed in order to face the rest of my evening with grace and joy.

And now, a quiet house, a kitchen "put to rights" (to quote Mr. Berry), some daffodils on my table, a dark house, except for the glow at my desk, and the prospect of a warm bed and a good book. Another breath of air in my lungs, a release for my mind and my heart and I’m ready to face another day with joy and grace.

And I hope you’ll see me here again tomorrow. That will be a good sign.   

18 comments on “fresh air”

  1. I can relate so much—my daughter is older but she still has her “phases” that force my patience and parenting creativity. Unfortunately, sometimes I just need to take a bit of a break and get away lest I have a tantrum myself (today was one of those moments). I hold onto the belief that she is strong within herself and if I can just steer her in a good direction, she’ll do wonders in the world…

  2. Beautiful post, Molly. Even though I don’t have any words of wisdom, I think your mother is right. And how wonderful to have the desire to live life with joy + grace…something that I think you are passing on to your girls.

  3. In reading your blog I often see similarities between our girls and this is no exception. My girl is also a big feeler and is someone who really is seeing and hearing things around her a little differently than most. I spent a couple of years waiting for her to even out and though she has settled into herself a bit more, she is not one I think will ever really even out. Usually when she is really taxing me, though it is often the last thing I want to do, what works for us is if I can sit down and give my complete focus to her for a bit. She needs to feel heard and being the youngest, I think sometimes she feels slighted (though I am sure she isn’t totally aware that she feels slighted- just that it doesn’t feel good to her). I hope you guys get back into your groove soon. I have no doubt that one day all of those big feelings together with your graceful guidance is going to take her to do wonderful things.

  4. Ahhh, yes, turning 6. That was a big change–to a “big girl” in our house. It’s full of emotion, but it yields a young woman. Brooke will be 8 this summer, and already I’ve forgotten that awkward transition. She is steadily maturing into a woman after God’s own heart. Yes, “this too shall pass,” but remember she is passing over into another stage of life.

    Blessings.

  5. Oh, I wish we had some daffodils blooming here–they’re about five inches out of the ground right now.

    I hear you on the daughter struggles. My first-born has always been my toughest one–I read that children act their worst when they feel safest. She has to be the safest-feeling child in history! The last couple of days have been really trying for me, and I’ve come away from our encounters feeling worn down but also like I’ve made some small progress because I’m not completely worn out. She went back to school today, so I have a brief reprieve! Hang in there!

  6. Hang in there! I am just about to do a search at our local library for “parenting the strong willed child”. 🙂

    I love the first photo!!! It’s awesome.

  7. Just reading this post was all the fresh air I needed to help revive me from the six-year-old daughter doldrums. Oh how I want to do right by her, and oh how demanding and mutifaceted she can be. Thanks, I’m going out for a walk now.

  8. Just reading this post was all the fresh air I needed to help revive me from the six-year-old daughter doldrums. Oh how I want to do right by her, and oh how demanding and mutifaceted she can be. Thanks, I’m going out for a walk now.

  9. I have read your blog for awhile now, and it seems our little girls are a lot alike. I have a constant struggle with my eldest, sometimes I just want to lay down and cry out of frustration. Sometimes I hug her for so long hoping I can rub some sweetness into her. She is bright, strong willed and sharp tongued. I have her in school because I can’t homeschool her (I work and I couldn’t teach her, I work and I don’t think she would listen). She told me yesterday “everyone knows you listen at school and not at home.” She’s 5! My mother keeps telling me this too shall pass, I just worry about how we can teach her to allow it to pass and how I can “behave” until it passes. We too are in a small space, there is no place for any of us to take a break. I know there are many other mommy’s out there going thru what we are, my eldest sister was/is much like my eldest daughter. I hope and pray that I can channel this little person in the right direction and somehow make her feel like she is making her own choices. My second daughter is a much different story! I was the third daughter (middle child) and my mom’s golden child. I was obedient and respectful beucause I didn’t know we had a choice. I saw the constant battling between my parents and me elder sister and I wanted none of that! The best book I have read on parenting is “How to Behave so your Preschooler will too” The author touched on every subject I needed, I read it when she was three and am still referring to it now. The author had his own sharp tongued little girl. He speaks from education, research and expereince. Enjoy your spring!

  10. “this too shall pass” :)those are the words that have guided me through many a tough parenting moment. and so, so true. they will pass and you will hardly remember them, which is a mixed blessing.

    something is wonky with my google reader as your last few posts have not showed up! i wondered where you had been – i guess out and about taking wonderful pictures and deep breaths.

  11. Oh what a wonderful blog you have! I so relate! My little girl (3) is up and down. Oh I love the ups, but the downs…watch out. Thanks for a great place to relate to! I just posted today on my blog about how hard it is to have them grow up. So hard! Thanks for letting me visit!

  12. Oh what a wonderful blog you have! I so relate! My little girl (3) is up and down. Oh I love the ups, but the downs…watch out. Thanks for a great place to relate to! I just posted today on my blog about how hard it is to have them grow up. So hard! Thanks for letting me visit!

  13. I hope to see you here, too!

    She sounds a lot like my sister. It didn’t so much pass as got a little more manageable. Oh the tantrums she threw from about age 6 to 9. My mom was about to lose it. Then she was a bit of a sullen teenager. Then a confused college student. But always passionate, creative, sensitive, generous. Always all-or-nothing. But time has tempered all those things, and she is such a unique and special adult.

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