Wednesday, August 22, 2018

farmhouse days

Children are not ours, in that we do not own them, dictate their futures, determine their fate. They are their own soulful beings. Vulnerable at a young age, to be sure, but with a future that is completely theirs. Still, if you care for them at a young age, you sort of wish you could hop skip over a handful of decades, just for a brief moment, so that you can see their take on life say fifty years from now. I remember thinking of this when my girls were small, but then also intuiting that someday I will want to have them back at their young age for just a short while, to play again, to rid them of all the anxieties of adulthood and put them back into a world of pure childhood.

Both Sparrow and Snowdrop are visiting at the farmhouse for a few days and so I have time to think not only about the now - the game to play, the stuffie to wave in front of the babe's face - but also about their adulthood and how to help them get to a best possible place so that they can feel contentment in their life, despite the knocks and bruises they'll encounter.

These are all fleeting thoughts. I haven't the luxury of much down time right now and, too, I am feeling the tiredness from my Iceland trip, compounded by the unpredictability of a very young babe's sleep cycle.

But tiredness is never a big issue when days are this sunny and beautiful!

I have a couple of breakfast pics - ones that bring home the idea that this really is a hugely important meal in the life of a grownup, but also a child.

This one you might title: "Sparrow dabbles in oatmeal, peaches and blueberries. Snowdrop thinks that this is the funniest thing ever."

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And now it's time for me to take the little girl to school.
But I have to feed the chickens with ahah!
Alright, but do it quickly!

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Did someone say "feed??"

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As we arrive in school, she is too tempted by her lunch. Out comes the cheese sandwich.
Save some for later!
But I'm hungry!

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Sparrow tags along. The fate of the youngest child is that she or he always does have to tag along. School shows, music recitals, ball games. Places to cheer the older family hero. Today -- to drop big sister off at school.

But back at the farmhouse he has my undivided attention.

Little guy, do you want to try out Snowdrop's favorite seat on the couch? (You can't easily do that when she is here -- it's "her" spot.)

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Let's bring out all your play mat toys and examine them before your sister gets home (she cannot resist his toys!)

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There are some advantages to being the youngest kid in the family.

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Guess who has no time to do garden work?
Guess what -- it doesn't matter.

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School's over for the day. We go for a very brief walk to the park, but it's not grabbing the little girl. Too windy. Too many prickly seeds in the sand. The water level is too high at the lake. We do not linger.

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At home, Ed is feeding Stop Sign. Nothing is more exciting to Snowdrop than giving him a helping hand in these chores. (The cheepers are sure she has something for them. Snowdrop is always a bit apprehensive when they hover. Well she might be. They are only half her size.)

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At the farmhouse, Sparrow and Snowdrop find a world of play that somehow is not bothered by their age difference.

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"I am a bridge, he is the river!"

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Evening is quieter. Ed is off biking. The kids pick up on the stillness of the house. Even though he's not a big talker, Ed's presence fills the room when he is here.

Snowdrop and I eat pizza on the porch.

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Several hours later Ed comes back.  
You ready to put away the chickens with me?

Flashlights glowing, they set out.

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Ed is never very hungry after strenuous exercise. He'll eat his way through a big piece of fruit -- that's all. Tonight he has a partner in crime: the two of them devour the whole watermelon. I'd like to believe he ate most of it, but I'm not sure that's the case.

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Night time. I hurry through chores and tidying jobs. Snowdrop sleeps, Sparrow settles down as well, Ed drifts off on the couch.

Everyone is tired but happy. Is there a better way to end a farmhouse "vacation?" I truly don't think so.