It is so unlike me to leave my blog here – all quiet and unattended – for so long. I know three weeks is nothing for those of my family and friends who just blog the occasional update, but for me – the me who uses this blog as a . . . as a what? Hmm. A place to record life? Yes. But more than that. A place to sort my thoughts. A place to give words to things I am just beginning to feel or understand. A place to test my voice.
For that me, three weeks is a very long time.
I have discovered better who I am here, in this little spot, on this little screen. I have become a better writer. I have pinned down fleeting moments. I have timidly and sometimes boldly tested different sides of myself.
And when I do go several weeks with no real desire to write or record anything; no ideas about how I might present some happening or thought – holding it out in my cupped hands, where I can twist and turn it in the light and examine its different angles – I worry that maybe I won’t ever know how to say anything clever or meaningful or worthwhile again. I worry that I’ve lost my voice – the very voice I am still trying to discover.
But I imagine that is just my tendency to overanalyze. The truth is probably much more simple. We all have things that vie for our time – things that make us busy – and while we can’t do everything (and perhaps wonder how on earth this person does that, or that person finds time for this), most of us do find time for some things. And this is one of the things I find time for. . . . Usually.
As I look back over the past few weeks, I see that I have simply been choosing other things. My voice hasn’t left me (though it waxes and wanes in its strength). My words aren’t gone. The moments that want recording will continue to demand it.
My life is pleasant. It isn’t so hectic that I can’t manage to do anything I want, but it isn’t so carefree that I can do everything I want. The last three weeks I have chosen books, and Easter eggs, and phone conversations.
And, it would sound really perfect if I were to add something now about how I have been choosing more important things . . .
But I haven’t. Hopefully Mike and my kids aren’t among the extra things that I have been talking about choosing. Hopefully they are always being chosen. Hopefully they don’t come and go as one of these bonus things. . . . Because, honestly, as I’ve read books and talked with friends who have needed a listening ear, my kids have mostly run about the house making awful messes, watched a few too many Phineas and Ferb episodes, spilled bottles of bubbles that were meant for blowing, eaten Easter candy with abandon, and tracked A LOT of mud around the yard and house!
So . . . I suppose I can’t claim to have been absent from blogging because I have been busy being an extra saintly mother.
I see blogging like choosing classes in high school or college. There are the required subjects (my family, my faith, and, sadly, some level of home maintenance) and there are the electives. You can never take all the electives. But you can choose one or two. I suppose I take blogging and photography most quarters. . . . Perhaps I’ve taken fiction reading this quarter (yah, I know, three weeks isn’t a quarter). But I always take the required classes . . . even if sometimes I am acing them and sometimes I am . . . neglecting my studies a wee bit (hence the muddy, candy-eating kids this week).
But I do love my little folks. I love my life right now. While I still have a full load of little ones, there is something about having older ones as well, that makes it easier for me. Not that they are changing diapers or tending. It’s still six kids. It’s still more work than it maybe used to be. It’s just . . . the dynamics are different. Mothering feels less overwhelming and hard. Less lonely. More full and satisfying for me with the added variety. Our days seem full in a very good way (though sometimes busier than I’d like). And I never find myself in the boat of needing some way to pass the time like I occasionally did in my earlier mothering years. It is a very happy phase for me.
Here are a few recent pics of the stinkers. And, while I feel like I am wading back into blogging as one might wade into a cold lake – inch by inch rather than leaping – I will add another post of two after this one (though I suppose they will appear above it) with simple words and pictures (so as not to overwhelm myself . . . or you, dear readers).