Thursday, August 23, 2018

my three farmhouse children

My night goes like this: one little one, after prancing and dancing past her bedtime, settles in and is out by 9:15. An hour too late, but oh well. She had had a long nap. A second little one eats, slurps and gurgles and finally falls asleep by 9:45. The third one falls asleep on the couch shortly after. I finish writing, go upstairs. It's 11:15. I'm ahead of yesterday's schedule by 15 minutes! But wait, a little one is up. Nature calls. All that watermelon! After all, the fruit is 92% water. Finally, everyone's out. I'm out.

At 3:45, my couch sleeping one wakes up and lumbers up to bed. He's no quiet little mouse as he goes through his nighttime routines. I'm awake, listening. Then, when all is quiet again, I will myself to fall back asleep. Some people do this with ease. I was one of them. Three decades ago.

And now, at 5:45, one little one is hungry. Well of course. It's been a while. He's a growing boy. It takes a few tricks to coax him back to sleep. All is quiet again. But it's 6:30! I may as well start in on breakfast.

Everyone is sleeping in today! I'm not jealous. I'll get my time in bed. I'm so happy that they will be well rested. Everyone's take on the day is greatly improved when they have plenty of sleep under their belts.

Except that one little one has to be in school at 8:30. Well, it's summer camp and she can be late.

Finally, just before 8, the littlest one stirs. The two of us go up to wake the rest of the household.

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(morning kisses)

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I have a farmhouse full of happy children.

Breakfast -- ready. Just flip a few pancakes and we're set!

Two of the kids have a rambunctious time playing with peaches, pancakes and honey.

(peaches, many of them from our own peach tree)

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(honey; kids love licking it off their fingers...)

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The youngest is feeling left out of the eating action. But is it possible to eat your oatmeal and feed a baby? It is!

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Snowdrop, hurry up, we have to get to school!
But ahah and I have to feed the chickens!

As I wait for them, I take in this beautiful lily against the backdrop of the false sunflower that the bees love so much...

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Here they come: as always, she clutches his finger -- her hand so small, his so big.

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At school, she tells her teacher all about... everything.

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Sparrow sleeps after  two curious days of very little sleep. Babies are so unpredictable.

"Will you put the farm flower in my hair?"

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Snowdrop is at school, Sparrow rests. My third child alternates between learning new things and resting.

As I pick Sparrow up and walk around a little with him, I do a selfie, remembering that I did this very selfie with Snowdrop when she was his age. Only back then, there weren't castles and tutus in the background!

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"Toys are nice... but where is my sister?"

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Time to get Snowdrop. (Grandma, I am reading a book I wrote to my friends.)

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At the farmette, Sparrow dozes in his car seat. Ed asks -- Snowdrop, you want to pick an apple from the old apple tree?

We have an ancient orchard that produces its fair share of ancient varieties of apples and pears. After you've been spoiled on honey crisps, you stop hankering for an apple out of the ancient orchard. Unless you're Ed.

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He shows her how he can reach nearly any apple on the tree.
You see? I can pick this one. Do you want it?
How about the one next to it that's a little more pink?

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Hi, Sparrow!

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And in the late afternoon, the parents come to pick their kids up.

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And now I am left with only one! And really, he's kind of tall, so not actually a child at all.

After the farmhouse grows really quiet, I think about two things: the first -- just four words uttered by a teacher at the school. You are so lucky! -- she said this today, not for the first time. My second thought is about how much Ed loves a good challenge. I do know that I heaped my plate a little full this past week. The travel, the kids, the garden. Indeed, you could argue that the summer has been like a double dinner portion. Which is perhaps why I'll remember it so fondly: that crazy time when I wanted to do it all. How wonderful it was. How lucky I am that I could plunge into it and emerge feeling like I still have a lot of oomph in me.

Ed, should we build a front deck? Or maybe cut down a few more trees? After I come back from Chicago and before I go on my next trip maybe?
Let's go to the farmers market and get some corn.