Kid/family update and a little about my new rhythm…

I miss writing here more regularly. Now that I don't as often I can tell that writing was a healthy practice for me- it helped me to mentally sort and process what was going on, and there was something about releasing the details of my life that was therapeutic for me. I've heard many criticize those who divulge so much about themselves publicly, but truly I think it depends on who you are. I also find it easy to write just as much as I want to share, and if I didn't I suppose it would feel more complicated. Anyway. I feel like I have a lot to share, but I'll just start with my usual format- a few pictures and a lot of rambling.

These kids. How I love them all so. They are definitely a big part of what makes the days feel so full. They are all so bright and challenging and sweet. We're looking into getting an Econoline type vehicle because this little intentional community of ours has become so integrated that it just sucks when I'm going somewhere and have to choose which kids will come with. I hate when anyone feels left behind. Or when Bri and I are home with the kids and only one of us can go out while the other hangs back with kids. It works well, we divvy up all the responsibilities just fine. But we don't like being stuck, and we don't like not having the option to just all load into a car and go somewhere together.

And the other kids feel more like my kids all the time. I mean, of course I feel a strong one-of-a-kind connection to my two babies, but lately I've just felt like it's okay to claim the other kids somewhat. I am theirs, that's for sure. It feels safer now than it did before to love them more intensely.

On this day we got this idea from the internet to draw eyebrows on little Jude. We gave him a lemon wedge and voila! Instant dinner entertainment! I can't believe he's almost one. It was not so long ago I had the great privilege of watching him come earth-side. Love. He loves me too. Multiple times a day he toddles to me with arms outstretched wanting me to hold him. He'll cry when I go up the stairs without him. We are attached.

Anyway. It's nice to see such affection coming from the other adults towards my kids, too. I trust them with my kids, like they are family. This was a moment between "Mama Bri" and Asa that made me smile. They love each other. And he's a 2 year old bruiser who smacks her baby in the head all the time, so you know it's real. <3

Vera is my pal lately. She's talking about wanting to go to school. We found this great little free school that we want to send her too, but we want to make sure it's right and that we can afford it. Unschooling has been easy and natural. Free learning is definitely the route for us. She's learning a lot, and it doesn't feel stressful for us at all. We do structured activities sometimes, but mostly she seeks stuff out. She's not really reading in the picture below, although she is starting to grasp letters and sounds and written language more and more. She grabbed my Through the Looking Glass book and plopped under this tree.

Her curiosity brings me so much happiness. I just can't imagine making her learn something she didn't want to, or telling her to stop learning something she was interested in. Different strokes for different folks, of course. I feel very much that people know their own kids and what they need. I'm just feeling really good about our direction these days. It's on my mind more and more since she's 5 now and people keep asking about what we're going to "do" with her and what our plans are. I've resigned myself to be comfortable with the state of things- I'm going to do my best and screw up a lot. My dad said something wise the other day- that as a parent the best you can hope for is that you set them up to do a bit better than you did. Here goes.

Vera saw the below picture and said "Hey! We look like… like big kids."

She has no idea.

The other day Asa and I went on a date. He was so excited, and I was too. I don't get to do much one-on-one with him, not like that anyway. He chose sushi (lucky mama!) and he even ordered! Well, sort of. The server came over to give us waters and he straightened right up and said "We wanna eat some… some SUSHI! And SOUP!"  The server was very sweet and nodded and Asa clearly felt so accomplished. The food came and lemme tell you: little boy can put down some sushi. Make a mama proud.

Farm stuff has really been taking off. We're all busy and happy and feeling great about things. We started a fundraiser to get things going, since our anticipated funding for the purchase of the hoop kept getting delayed. It's gone so well I can hardly believe it. The support we've gotten has been amazing and, frankly, kind of overwhelming. Today we got a few large donations from friends and family and it brought me to tears. I feel a little awkward when it comes to money. I have always liked to be self-sufficient in that regard. Receiving so much love from people in this way has been humbling and has made us all very focused on our mission. We feel we were meant to do this work, and we aren't going to let people down.

Anyway, with this whole flurry of activity, we have found that our time for rest has become kind of sacred. We protect it and prepare for it. We call Sunday our day of rest (original, I know!). We're learning how to really relax. We're learning a lot, really. All the qualities that brought us to this place together are now sometimes being challenged. Like, now we have to schedule things and organize and really figure out our communication. It's good, for sure, but odd when the birthplace of this passion and this occupation was one of disorder and play. Always a balance to be had, I guess.

I have a better respect for traditions and rituals now- big and small. I think maybe they help people pause and reflect, to know what to expect. I don't know if it's unique to humans… probably not… but there's something beautiful to me about the desire to find that rhythm in the midst of the chaos of life. While the whole mess of it washes over you, you find a heartbeat somewhere- something that holds fast and steady and sustains. Yeah.


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