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homestead happenings: cherish

May 23, 2012

Despite the fussing baby boy in the library yesterday who I badly wanted to scoop up and snuggle (you go ahead and get some work done, I’d say to his father who was on his laptop, I’ll be in the fiction stacks with Mr. Gummy Smiles; or maybe I’ll just make a sign: will re-lactate for crying babies)…despite that precious baby, whose very smell ripened an ovarian follicle or two of mine, I like these ages my kids are at.

Dan set up a fort for the kids in the backyard, the kind you could stand up in only if you were born say, after 2007. And it’s like someone plopped down Disneyland—the tarp and PVC version—in our yard because the kids head out there at 7:00am like commuters with their briefcases full of legos and beads.

Sometimes all they need for hours is a plate of snacks strategically pushed under the fort, while I putter around the garden feeling insanely lucky and happy to hear their chatter (Col: look at the triple decker bus I made! Rose: well I found the legos for the triple decker bus, so I sort of made it too, Coley); insanely lucky and happy to be together, but not y’know, so together that I can’t pull a few weeds with my free hand.

Inevitably, the kids pack up their Fort Independence briefcases and return to their lighthouse of comfort, which is me. And they’re just in time, because by then I’ve had enough time with the tomatoes and the luxury of following my own thoughts and want nothing more than their enormous small bodies to return to me.

A couple weeks ago Rose’s preschool held their annual “spring sing,” which consists of 40 or so kids singing their tirelessly rehearsed songs to the beautiful backdrop of their own hand-painted scenery. It’s always a festival of sentimental tears and laughs (the nose-picking kids, the Joe Cocker-types singing like it hurts). When all those gorgeous children sang Simon and Garfunkel’s 59th St Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy), so sincerely, so earnestly—let the morning time drop all its petals on me, life I love you, all is groovy—tears pricked the corners of my eyes and a voice in my head said: cherish this, cherish this, cherish their childhood.

I can feel summer revving up, this brief and magical time that’s like a placeholder in my children’s lives, marking days of river play, camping, and marveling over ladybugs. If it had a brand name, this summertime, we’d call it something like: the best of childhood. Something to cherish, indeed.

On the homestead:

:: The root cellar is 1/3 of the way dug. Only 5 more feet to go! Oy. Dan is currently working with the antlers, which will be the roof (covered with juniper bark and mud) of the root cellar, the antler kiva root cellar. And as our friend Ben says, “leave it to Dan to choose the most challenging building material to work with.” Antlers!

Who knew a big pit and attendant dirt pile would so increase the quality of a 7-year old’s life?

:: Our tomato plants outgrew the greenhouse,

And are out in the real world now (it’s like sending your kids to kindergarten!)

Okay, not quite the real world yet.

:: What are they doing?

Holding hands through the holes in a picnic table, obviously.

:: Did you get to see the annular eclipse on Sunday? We drove out to Chimney Rock Archeological Area to witness astronomical history. The kids, in their typical way, found it both spectacular (“it’s like a mouse is taking a bite out of a cheese wheel!”) and ordinary (“let’s go catch lizards now, Rose.”)

Would you call me superficial if while enjoying the eclipse, I also thoroughly enjoyed Rose’s baby chins?

:: The true face of homeschooling.

I freaking love it.

Hoping you too are cherishing these days.



ps: winner of Use Your Words book announced on original post. Keep those essays coming!

19 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2012 11:48 am

    Lovely post! We were working in the garden yesterday as a family and I caught myself tearing up. Sometimes trying to soak up all the little moments of life can get so emotionally overwhelming. Before we know it we will watch them rocking babes on their knees! So glad to see you cherishing those sweet children of yours!

  2. May 23, 2012 11:57 am

    Checking on the garden with beer in hand. You are my kind of gardener, girl! I cherish your posts.

  3. Melissa permalink
    May 23, 2012 12:05 pm

    I am!! I so am. I love this post, love the relationship your kids have, espec love the hot pic of you in the garden (:
    ps. we had a teacher conference at avi’s school this morning and talk about cherish–i sat there squirming with pleasure hearing people who are not family members praising my kid. and cracking up at his hippie/performance artist teacher (she’s the one who created “jelly jam,” a wednesday afternoon delight of a make-believe game) retell avi’s chagrin when he was asking her about her recent wedding, eg, “my mommy wore a white dress. are you wearing a white dress,” and of course she didn’t and how my little guy was all befuddled. i freaking love that school. and don’t even get me started on Lilit, who mimics everything in this sweet little girl voice . . . cherish, cherish, cherish!thanks for indulging the long postscript!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      May 24, 2012 11:53 am

      Long postscripts always welcome here. Isn’t that the best to hear non-biased people love your kids?

  4. May 23, 2012 12:07 pm

    The photo by the river with the kids holding hands through the holes? Oh how I wish I could step into it with my lot and splash away the afternoon. Gorgeous.

  5. jessica permalink
    May 23, 2012 2:22 pm

    You guys have the spring into summer vibe flowing. I love it!

    There is something about a fort that’s the best, even as an adult!
    I brought home a Sportbrella (umbrella you lay on it’s side and tether down) late last year to some dubious looks from the hubby. “Are we really ever going to use that?”
    Fast forward to two weeks ago and break it out the first time at the beach, with a deck of cards and a cooler, and hear, “This is awesome! It’s like a fort. We’re going to live in this thing all summer!”

    Awesome indeed.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      May 24, 2012 11:54 am

      must look into this sportbrella – sounds at least as great as a sportsbra!

  6. May 23, 2012 3:21 pm

    oh man am I right there with you. Lately, the kids could play with legos for hours. I truly was not a fan up until recently. Stepping on them, picking them up a million times but once we hid the “instructions” imagination has taken over and a quiet concentration has entered our life. Now, to take your example and create a tent outside. =)

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      May 24, 2012 11:55 am

      Our instruction manuals have all mysteriously disappeared…

  7. seranel permalink
    May 23, 2012 4:26 pm

    You read my thoughts, Rachel. Just yesterday I was thinking how much I cherish these days with my children. Every simply act is precious and should be cherished. The problem is keeping that frame of mind when they are driving you crazy. On Sunday night, I ended up taking Tristyn to the ER because of unexplained tummy aches for 3 days (no vomiting, which was part of my concern). As I sat there next to her bedside, I told myself I would be more present with her. (she’s fine, btw) *sigh* Its good to have reminders. <3

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      May 24, 2012 12:00 pm

      > The problem is keeping that frame of mind when they are driving you crazy. Yes, that is true and hard and somehow it is those times that provide the counterbalance, so that when you find yourself on the edges of a happy, squabble-free kids fort, it can feel like the most serene and perfect bliss. xo

  8. Dan permalink
    May 23, 2012 5:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing these images and the beautiful words, honey! And thanks for helping me cherish these urchins! Love, Dan

  9. May 23, 2012 7:59 pm

    Just reading the sentence, imagining sweet little voices singing S&G made me teary. I can just see it.

    Cherish. Yes.

  10. May 24, 2012 12:15 am

    Oh, you made me tear up! My boy is only one and I know in a blink of an eye he’ll be as big as yours . . . At the same time makes me so excited for what lies ahead.

    I’ll try to keep that word, cherish, in mind the next time my little tornado is tearing the house up.

    Lovely post . . . BTW – rockin’ the beer and the weeding! My kind of gardening! :)

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      May 24, 2012 12:05 pm

      It IS a blink; cherishing helps.

  11. May 24, 2012 1:59 pm

    I love your opening words describing your babes as commuters — love this with suitcases of Legos and tools of play. My girls have been doing a similar thing with basically moving into the playhouse my hubby built (which I realize I’ve taken like no pictures of – so, on that!) And yes, take it all into your heart and hold onto it for good — cherish the now, the today. xoxo

  12. May 24, 2012 8:47 pm

    How I love my gummy-smiled one (HUGE smiles that I can’t get a picture of because the camera puzzles him so) — but I kinda like the ages your kids are at, too. But I can wait.

    So, with homeschooling, do you take the summer off? If so, what does “off” really mean?


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