I think one of the reasons that I haven't blogged a lot recently is that I haven't been taking the time to take beautiful photographs. It sounds superficial, and it is, but it's also true. I've been too preoccupied or scatterbrained even to pull out the iPhone camera, let alone remember to bring the nice one from home. I've been savoring life instead of staging it.
I've been feeling at a loss for words and inspiration, but not at all unhappy. Isn't that weird? For me that is weird. Usually, when I stop writing or creating or sharing stories, I get bummed. But not this time.
I've just been busy doing life instead of documenting it.
And our life is busy, messy, not always cute, and very repetitive.
On Mondays and Wednesdays, for example, I pick up Jillson from school (as opposed to letting her ride the bus), so that we can be on time to her tae kwon do class. Pick-up time is no later than 3:25; tae kwon do is 3 minutes away from school, but it doesn't start until 4:15. So we spend nearly an hour just sitting in the van. Why don't we get out and do something more fun, you might ask, such as go to the library or go for a walk? Well, Jillson has homework to do, and--most days--at least one or both of her sisters has fallen asleep during the commute. And, frankly, hauling all three kids out of the car to do anything all together at that time in the afternoon is exhausting.
It actually works out semi-nicely when the sisters are asleep. Jillson and I can focus on her homework and talk about her day. Some days this goes smoothly; most days it is an exercise in keeping my wits about me while constantly redirecting the 1st grader to her homework.
Today, while I was getting Jillson's homework set up for her on a clipboard I was startled to see and hear Bronwen giggling right beside me. I was pretty freaked out until I realized that Jillson had taken Bronwen out of her carseat. Wait! Jillson had taken Bronwen out of her carseat? When was THAT authorized?
Never mind that. Where were Bronwen's pants? Why was she covered in food and snot stains? What happened to her hair things? Oh, wait. I forgot. This is not a blog post in which I pretend to have it all together. So, there we were, with the 14-month old, covered in snot and crusty food, with no pants, surfing the console. Business as usual around here.
It occurred to me then that this was no fluke. This is my real life. Not the moments I carefully photograph and share on Facebook--that's the highlights reel. But THIS is it. Sitting in the van for hours on end pretending no one can see in our windows. And then I decided I would indeed pull out the phone and capture it, warts and all.
Funny, because after this nonsense went on for a while, Jillson and I actually took a break from the homework to have a talk. I knew something was up when she asked, between math problems, "You know how when something is bothering you it helps to tell someone about it?" Yup, I do.
Well, she was perplexed because for some reason her friend at school had called her mean. This in itself was not the problem. Jillson doesn't even remember why the girl called her mean. The problem was that Jillson had screamed back at her friend "I am not mean!" and then she recognized that screaming in someone's face looks, sounds, and feels mean. Conundrum.
(I am not unfamiliar with this problem. I regularly catch myself yelling "Stop yelling!")
Anyway. The real problem was that she felt that she had then been mean and that the girl wouldn't be her friend. We discussed ways to patch it up, and time will tell if it works.
That's it, friends. Choir time. Then an evening of cutting cardstock into tiny strips--1,200 tiny strips to be exact--for a craft related to a work event. Very real and very boring.