Over half term, we have relaxed. I put it down to less clock watching. More time taken. Even after almost 12 years of doing the school run, I still struggle to be fully productive in the hours between dropping off and picking up. It’s not quite long enough for me. I check time. Estimate if I can squeeze one more task in. A feeling of constant interruption. It’s a pattern for all areas of my life.
So half term is bliss.
We spent longer doing activities. I’m not constantly watching the time, to make sure meals are on time or people picked up. Taking over to speed proceedings up. I’m reminded of their time at a Montessori nursery, where an activity was complete once the child had tired of/finished it. Not cleared away, to start break time. The children controlled the end point. Not the clock.
Over the weekend, I set up a science experiment. Secret writing with lemon, on different paper, with my youngest. It worked really well and lots of science was discussed.
While the paper dried, we used the rest of the lemon to make raspberry and lemon muffins. The muffin baking was my attempt to stop him wandering off and being caught up by another attraction. Screen or book. Either way, it would have resulted in a half an hour or more wait while he finished it. Plus I knew everyone would be pleased to see a tray of muffins.
It worked. He loved the science, as I knew he would, but it was the baking that he enjoyed the most. Taking his time, with only a little help from me.
This is new. His sisters weren’t elbowing him out of the way. They often over shadow him. I wasn’t hurrying him along. It was his project. He was going to see it through. He chatted away happily.
And I stepped back and gave him time.
Once the muffins were in the oven, we used the heat from the Aga hotplates to reveal the secret messages on the now dry paper. He approached it with maturity. Assessing the dangers. Taking his time. Innovating different methods. The writing appeared perfectly and no fires required extinguishing.
He has grown. Again.
At that moment, I heard a familiar cog clunk into place. It started a slow rotation of many other interlinked cogs. All moving in perfect synchonism. A thing of beauty.
I’ve been here before.
The process of realisation had begun. I couldn’t carry on feeling like I need to do it all, to fit in with the clock. I need to let go a fracture more. I’ve helped him grow into the person he is. Now it’s time to step back a little bit more and see what he can do.
In reality, most parents will tell you, that the growing up process happens all the time. The pendulum swinging from the adult leading to the child doing. Continuous. Hopefully effortlessly and with the smoothness of a well oiled machine. Just occasionally, you are present enough in the moment to experience a small jolt as they step up a gear. Changing the rhythm of growing up slightly.
So there you are. Spotting that they’ve outgrown their trousers is a piece of cake. Seeing that they are ready to take more on? That’s more sticky.
It will be interesting to see if my own production increases after September when there will be no more school runs. Will I give myself more time and see what I can do? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, anyone for cake?
There is something about putting the first seeds of the year into their own pot of earth that seems to proclaim that the new growing season has finally begun. Trumpet fanfare, please. In my head, I look at these pots and can see a plant bearing beautiful red fruit, ready to be picked and eaten. I can smell the warm fragrance.
The sun came out for the first time this half term, so we headed up to the potting shed. And then back again. A wee bit too cold still. Not to be defeated, I set up a temporary seed area in the house. Little pots of dirt, labelled and covered. A promise of homegrown food. I cannot wait.
I had help. I finished knitting her fingerless gloves last night, so I think she was that little bit more willing to brave the colder temperature. The second glove took me only one evening to knit, which could be a record for me. Continue reading
One of my aims this year is to reduce stress and have more time to craft. The two are linked. If my mind is elsewhere, I find I flit between craft projects and finish few. Any project, to be honest. The one way I have found, to reduce my stress, is to plan. Write lists. Dump everything I’m juggling in my head on to paper. Seize back control. I tried the Fly Lady for a few years, which worked well, but I lost the rhythm and could never quite fit back into it.
So this year, I’m giving myself the challenge of Bullet Journalling. I’ve seen both Jocelyn and Angela, to name but two, putting planning into action and they have inspired me to try again. Kim‘s meal planning has been a weekly reminder for me to grab a back of an envelope and plan mine. Now I’m going to put that in my planner too. Everything in one place.
I wasn’t meaning to buy a book about it. My children had book tokens burning a hole in their pockets, from Christmas, so we went to Toppings in Bath. I had to fill an eternity while my children chose books, which is when I came across “How to Bullet Plan“. I could have researched the subject on the internet, but a book in the hand has worked more efficiently this time. A real time saver.
One of the reasons I liked the bullet journal concept is Continue reading