It’s been a warm December, much to the sadness of the hockey players at our house. The rink at school is covered in water. After November’s wild reminder that we live in the north, with great snow piles and cold, cold weather, the chinook winds blew. It’s kind of a nice reprieve, but walking anywhere is treachery right now. The world is covered with ice.
Sometimes I get these vibes that tell me I need to write things down so I don’t forget them entirely. Just little things–like how much noise 15-year-olds with newly changed voices make. It’s like the baby who just started hearing his own voice, so he keeps trying it out. But the 15-year-olds don’t realize how HUGE and LOUD their voices are. But I want to remember these days, big male voices reciting verses from John 1 that they’re memorizing for school programs in the bathroom while they get ready for school. Or singing the Hallelujah chorus. And the same 15-year-old asking, “Mom, are you doing laundry today? Can you make sure my sweatpants are a priority?” I think this is because he wants to use them to go work out with his cousin. I couldn’t find the sweatpants when I sorted laundry. I looked all over…and found them in his sister’s drawer. Someone small was putting away laundry and in a hurry.
I want to remember 1o-year-olds wondering as they clear the breakfast table about how the inside of a chicken is created that they can produce and push out eggs with hard shells. And the whole mystery of how, unless there’s a rooster around, eggs can’t hatch into chicks.
I watch my 11-year-old daughter doing her hair on Sunday morning and “get all the feels”–to use that expression that I don’t even like but is so fitting. For realz. 😉
She can braid beautifully and does a nice Dutch braid on Liesl’s hair. Then she’s struggling with doing her long hair in a French braid–and then it’s frizzy at the back and she thinks she needs to redo it but there’s not time. And oh boy….how DID she miss getting a whole long strand into her braid? Panic! We chop it off since it’s not too thick.
I get all the feels about this because I remember preteen hair agonies and I still sometimes have them. But it’s so much better to be on this side of life and remember that no one is looking as closely at us as we think they are. And I try to impart this wisdom to my girls…and to the boy who thinks his haircut is lopsided. But I know they also have to let life teach them those lessons.
Then this morning the girls wore the sweaters they found at Value Village that are matching. Natalia wore the green one for a few years and now it’s too small. But she found a pink one the other day. So last night they were picking out dresses that matched them, though Tillie isn’t sure about stripes with florals. Here they pose right before we leave for school with their matching French braids that you can’t see.
And Tori texted this morning from the LAX airport that she would do the street meeting weekend again in a heartbeat. She flies home today.
And oh. I’m blessed with such crazy beautiful music these days. I swoon every night while I prepare supper over Natalia’s “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” and think of the words of that beautiful carol, the last two verses my favorite.
And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
- “For hate is strong,
- And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
- The Wrong shall fail,
- The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
And Liesl and Andre are pounding out “Drummer Boy” and “Good King Wenceslas”-and it’s not that they’re exceptional players yet or anything. But I couldn’t be prouder of them.
So I’m just recording these memories mostly because in the flurry of the rush
to get coats on for school
and soup made for supper
and homework completed
and trying to deal with the annoying whining about things not being exactly fair chore-wise
and learning to let your older kids make their own choices without having panic attacks,
I need to remember and record.
I’ve been looking for the perfect pair of boots. I have such picky tastes and being Mennonite and over 40 complicates things. There’s this ladies’ retreat in Indiana coming up and I’ve always hated the idea of standing out….like when I go to a church more conservative than ours, I try to be respectful with what I choose to wear. I know some people love to make a statement of their freedom, but that’s not me. However, I also care about clothes and things more than I possibly should–and I realize it more than ever because I see it in my children now.
But anyway. Boots.
I want something dressy, but not racy at all. Not too buckly. Not too high (definitely nothing over the knee) because those catch on my long dress. A chunky heel, but not too high and blocky. Comfortable. No cowgirl vibes. I’ve looked a lot of places and last night on amazon I found what seemed perfect. But they were $652.
Maybe I’ll just have to go with these.
I actually don’t need boots at all and will probably end up wearing something I have, which will be just A-OK.
I had this insight the other day when I read about Mary the mother of Jesus: she kept all the mysterious and beautiful things about Whom she was mothering and pondered (treasured) them in her heart. She didn’t instagram them.
I don’t know where that puts me, because I sure like to tell people my thoughts.
(But I guess her beautiful magnificat is recorded.)
I just remembered a lovely painting of Mary that I want to share again, so I’m going to do that. Somehow it doesn’t go with those boots up there at all.
This painting is by Liz Lemon Swindle and I love how it’s not the typical sleeping Jesus with Mary sitting serenely nearby. I think it’s the Jesus who understands us in our preoccupation with things that really don’t matter, like frizzy hair or the perfect boots. But I’m glad that same Jesus calls us to things beyond the temporal, beyond things we can see and touch and feel.
Thanks for reading here. A beautiful Monday to you.