Once there was a little girl who knew her own mind. Really, she was a little old lady in the guise of a small blonde-headed girl. She was never easily swayed, often bossy, never cajoled, and she could make quite a tough face that would stop would-be cheek-pinchers in their tracks. She was clever and artistic, immensely creative in her thinking, smart and funny. But I imagine she was not always a dream to parent.
Sylvan PJ pants in-waiting
You may have guessed that small girl was me. I tell you this because one of my boys is all of those things also. This is why I will never, ever homeschool him.
"these are not alligator shoes, these are alligator FEET!"
Jonas PJ pants in-waiting
So this morning, the two boys and I spent two hours (*two*, yes, that's epic in kid-time) in the garden, working together to mulch with newspaper and straw against the weeds. What was really special was that the aforementioned boy was incredibly helpful and dedicated and hard-working, creating a structure for our peas to climb, patiently laying newspaper between the garlic plants (which were planted annoyingly close together), encouraging us to work together and get more than half of the garden done.
He is often resistant to demands on his time away from reading, particularly when these demands come from Jake. What was different today? I guess I went into it a little more like a river and less like a rock, making a true request that he could engage with if he was willing, and here is the key: without judgment about his decision. (Do I sometimes wish I could just ask for help straight up and get a completely cooperative boy?--Yes, but that's not him.) And first, requesting that he help me figure out if we had enough pea netting from last year and to come up some way to hold it up---I think this appealed to both his sense of independence and his creative problem-solving nature.
PJ pants in-waiting for E.
So right away, we were collaborators while we listened to the birds and watched the other brother make a fishing net out of the leftover pea netting and some baling twine. It is the first sunny day I have not been working in over a week, and my sewing machine is with our local Guru after developing some squiggly bottom-thread issue (and me getting frustrated and breaking a needle...), so the garden truly benefited. It felt like our inner work matched the beauty of the day.
But OK, check this out. I bought my first pattern for a skirt! Amy Butler Barcelona Skirts and this lovely summery blue print fabric to make the skirt on the cover of the pattern, sort of a tiered skirt. I have measured myself and it looks like I am between two sizes. But I may get a chance to try on a skirt (from the same pattern packet!) that a friend made in---get this---gnome fabric, because her estimation is that I am not the size I think I am. Huh. Will let you know. Right now the pattern and the fabric are kind of like My Precious.