Tuesday, March 19, 2013

On Parenting

*I have many thoughts about parenting that I would like to visit over the course of the next weeks.

One of the most pleasant surprises about motherhood thus far is how natural it feels.  Sure I get frustrated at times and need a break, but by and large I feel wholly contented by my role.  It is a pleasure to tend to this child and watch her grow.  It's a privilege.

Several years before having Eulalie I attended Waldorf teacher training.  Though I look forward to the day I make my way back to the classroom, I cherish what my training lends to me as a mother.  We live in a time when anxiety over parenting seems almost trendy.  We mothers are constantly questioning our decisions worried that we could be doing things (everything) better.  We google, we discuss, we worry,  we compare, we obsess, and we feel guilty.  When it comes to children our society seems to have lost, or at least forgotten about, our inner wisdom; our intuition.  In general, I am quite hard on myself.  I am always thinking of the ways I can do things better.  I am a goal oriented perfectionist.  And yet, when it comes to parenting, somehow, I feel calm and relaxed.  I have certainly succumbed to some lat night googling ( ie: 6 week old green explosive poop), but overall I feel confident in my abilities.  Not perfect mind you, or an expert by any means, but parenting Eulalie feels right.  And I'm going with it.

When I think about why I feel so good about parenting this little person, which really is a terrifying prospect when you sit down and think about it, it is because I trust her and I trust myself. So I guide her, offer her oh so much love, and by and large let her be her own person.  And, by the same token,  I am gentle with myself, I expect mistakes and mishaps, but I also value myself and my knowledge and genuinely believe that we are the best parents for this particular child.  And so far so good, not perfect, but good.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In my kitchen

We live in a humble home.  A changing home.  A we-still-have-to-paint-the-walls home.  And hang-up-artwork home.  And wash-the-windows-home (ahem). A this-is-certainly-not-our-forever-home home. But, there's beauty and simplicity and good things here and so for now, we are happy to call this little place ours.  I know there will be a day when we leave this place and I will forever think of it as the house where we grew into a family.  And that alone, fills me with gratitude, even now when we are in the thick of it.

Of all the rooms in our little house I love our kitchen the most: its glorious light, its little dining nook, the nourishment sprung from love and sweat  that it provides. I would say it's perfect, but in reality it's not.  The fridge squeaks, we need more shelves, there is a tiny herd of sugar ants that would like to take over if we let them, but even so, it's magic what all can be accomplished and transformed in there and for that I'm oh so thankful.

Since Eulalie's birth I've become passionate about feeding my family well.  We've always chosen fresh over packaged and meals made from scratch over convenience food, but the rhythm I've found these days goes a step beyond.  There is always something gracing my shelves, bubbling, brewing... metamorphosing into something delicious and nourishing.

Several months ago we joined a cow share and now get farm fresh real milk on a weekly basis.  With this milk I make yogurt and kefir.  I have learned about the nutritive and balancing nature of fermented food and so there is always something bubbling in our pantry.  Our favorite so far is traditional sauerkraut with caraway seeds and beets.  Though I have given up gluten (oh how much better I feel!) I still make two loaves of fresh sourdough every week for my husband's lunches.  I love greeting the sourdough start (it is alive after all , feeding it, and creating dense delicious (so my husband says) whole wheat loaves out of it.  We have a perpetual crock pot of bone broth bubbling on our counter, which we dip into daily.  We drink it at breakfast and use it to cook with in the evening.  I found myself buying kombucha on a weekly basis and, so, I now nurture that mysterious critter too (my husband is creeped out by kombucha.  I love it.  How about you?).

What I love most about my kitchen is the work that is done in it.  It yields food that nourishes my family's bodies, but it also has transformed me.  I no longer try to hurry through chores, ticking them off my to do list one by one.  But rather, I try to stay present while I languidly make my way through the days tasks. Because, well, I'm not just making bread, or sauerkraut  or yogurt.  Bottled up in each one fo my creations is love, fortitude, and stewardship.  And, I'm pretty sure our food tastes better for it.

first glimpse of spring

nothing more satisfying than drying baby woolens and diaper covers

waiting to be filled with kombucha.  yum!

Our ever growing pantry

lacto fermented sauerkraut

a bowl of growing sourdough proof

A baby in the sink, naturally.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

the quickening pace of time

Just like that, winter has come and gone.  It's the beginning of March and spring is shyly beginning to show herelf with buds, blossoms, and flowers.  Our little dove has grown in these past three months.  She has gone from a tiny little thing to babbling, screeching, moving (!) creature with opinions and wants all her own.  It's a wondrous thing watching a child grow.  I swear she's a whole different person from one night to the next.  Sometimes I wake in the night and just stare at her little frame rising and falling as if I'm going to catch her growing right before my very eyes.

These past three months have brought oh so many changes.  We've moved house,  celebrated our first thanksgiving and Christmas as a family of three, the little one started to roll, then inch, and now scoots herself about--choosing to bypass her basket of toys for more interesting things like wall plugs and computer chords, she started eating solids, and is teething in earnest.  Oh so many changes in three short months.  So here we are, moving forward as always.  Growing, expanding, and of course changing.  It's wonderful really, discovering this story that will be ours when our children are big and grown.

*a collection of pictures from my camera and iphone.