Thursday, June 22, 2017


I used to think that some people were born with an intense desire to nurture and others -- not so much. Some people appeared to me to love parenting -- others just walked through the steps out of a sense of duty. Or inevitability. Or something. Or nothing.

These days, I think it's all much more complicated.

When I first met Ed, he seemed to be completely unaware of the concept of raising children, claiming that there were too many of them and that they were, for the most part, too loud.

And yet, on his profile page (remember, we met on line), he posted a photo of himself and a little boy, walking the market together (kid on his shoulders). I thought that was a pander to women who may like the idea of a guy who is sweet to little kids. But was it?

Snowdrop, on the other hand, seems so obviously nurturing in her behaviors (toward her babies, toward classmates with disabilities) that it's hard to imagine her not being a caring mommy or aunt or foster parent or just individual out there, in a sea of people.

But here's a curious and wonderful thing: Ed has really changed since Snowdrop came into our lives. Whereas before, he reserved his softness for animals and used to make a point of regarding infants as somewhat bizarre specimens, now he is Snowdrop's biggest pal and defender. He is an intuitive teacher and most patient friend to her.

Is it that most of us do have infinite capacity to nurture (and I do not equate nurturing with just parenting or even grandparenting), but only under circumstances that are well matched to our personalities and temperaments?

It's a slower day today in many respects. The weather is unsettled -- first cool and wet, then just wet, then just cool, then neither. And, too, after a really chaotic month, I think we are all in need of routine and repetition. You'll see a lot of that in the post today.

Breakfast, of course.

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A garden walk.

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(The summer irises are now blooming and they are just beautiful!)

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Ed and I have taken on a few gardening projects -- there's that fallen tree that he wants to take care of and there are sagging limbs of other trees that in my opinion are threatening to obstruct the entrance to the farmhouse. (And, too, there are the periodic root issues we have, as our willow has yet again rooted its way into our septic pipes and so we have to have someone come out and attend to this before we lose the ability to take showers and flush toilets).

Mostly, we do everything at a snail's pace.

When I pick up Snowdrop at school, she is bouncy and delightfully eager to do... something. But I steer her away from anything ambitious. We go to the playground, where she does swing until I tire of pushing her...

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She asks to go to the pool, but I tell her it's too wet and cold and she accepts that. At the farmette, she begs to play outside, but again, it's just not a good day for the wading pool and the sandbox, despite its cover, is so saturated that you may as well call it mud play. Not today, Snowdrop.

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I entice her with a few cherries off our tree...

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(And even get her to take off her sweater, but not for long...)

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... and then we head indoors, where she spends a good hour playing with Ed...

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... eventually getting him to turn on that polka music...

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... and to dance with her.

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After, they tumble around on the floor in horse play and I do what I always do then -- say be careful, Ed over and over again so that the little one takes up the chant laughingly -- be careful ahah! ha ha ha! Be careful! Tumble, bounce, tumble some more. Thankfully both come out undamaged.

Evening. I stir fry a lot of mushrooms! We've stockpiled bagfuls from our favorite mushroom farmers. Today we indulge.

And the rains come and go and the fireflies dance their summer dance...