My life relies heavily upon the construct of seasons. An oft repeated mantra of my mother's has kept alive the biblical wisdom a time and a season for all things. She would often say some expression to that effect as we tried to determine the order and priority of our budding adult lives. In particular,with her daughters, she has reminded me that to become a fully realized woman, and to achieve all of my own important, personal dreams, one must wisely construct what to cultivate in which season.
This season of my life is a good one. Fruitful, abundant, domestic. Now, probably more than ever, I am immersed in home life and all of its joy and workload. Developing this skill-set, this life-at-home-with-children system, has been the priority for me for over a decade now. I'm still working on it. There are days, enchantingly simple days, when the only sounds I hear from sun-up to sun-down are comprised of the chatter of my girls' play and the hum of a whirling dryer. The waft of a good fabric softener lingers with freshly folded towels. My schedule is filled cooking meals, scrubbing toilets, and organizing closets. I am constantly assessing and reassessing how to make life easier and more efficient within these walls. Trying to create an atmosphere of growth and spirit and peace. School papers piled and sorted. Permission slips signed. Prayers said. Goals jotted on a sticky note stuck to the refrigerator.
This is my life right now. And it is so good. It is hard too.
A favorite children's book I've read repeatedly to my girls is When the Root Children Wake Up. It has great illustrations that their eyes feast upon for a solid five minutes before I'm permitted to turn the page. The story tells of a gaggle of fairy children who flitter about the earth celebrating the separate seasons in all of their glory. There's Grandfather Winter, Aunt Spring, Cousin Summer, and Uncle Fall. I love Uncle Fall. He arrives with his spectacles on and ushers in the rich, studious Autumnal season.
We are preparing for just that. The school year is the second New Year's for me. I am busy organizing the house again, stocking away beach gear, purchasing school supplies, and designing homework areas. In the hours leading up to the big first day, the girls excitedly stare at their new school shoes and obsessive compulsively sharpen their new pencils. It's almost better than Christmas.
In keeping with the endless thrills of back-to-school neurosis, I also have a steady line-up of meals ready in my other bible. Which, I lost last week. I cannot stress to you the corresponding panic which ensued. What was once a sneaking suspicion has now been fully confirmed. My name is Rae, and I'm a notebook addict. My brain doesn't exist anywhere other than on those pages. If that book isn't with me daily, I don't even know who I am anymore.
My shaking hands trembled as I mentally retraced my steps for the previous day and anxiously dialed our pediatrician's office.
"Hello, yes, this is the Haack children's mother. I was wondering if perhaps you found a notebook lying around your office anywhere? We were there for an appointment yesterday?"
"Can you describe what it looks like?"
"It's a ringed 5 x 7 notebook. Clipped inside of the rings is a .005 extra fine tipped Ebony inked pen. The cover is an unexpected yet happy combination of orange, blue, green, and pinks. I know, sure...it's a rather juvenile color combo that really doesn't sound good in theory, but in its muted tones really works surprisingly well. The paper inside I'd venture to say is nearing around 10 point thickness. The pages won't tear easily, which as you know, is important. Inside, there are meal plans, schedules, journal entries, gratitude lists, bullet points covering what I'm always angry about, and my ten year plan for our financial future. On the cover it reads LOTS OF REALLY GREAT IDEAS ----"
At this point the receptionist heard my voice crack and interrupted to place me on hold.
They found it.
Links to meal plan below:
1. 20 minute Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Noodles. Have you gotten a spiralizer yet? It's definitely made a difference around here.
2. Sweet Potato Hash. Delicious. Easy. Good For You.
3. Corn and Coconut Soup. Because it isn't official soup season yet. This is a good summer soup.
4. Hoping to take the girls apple picking this week. These Apple Cookies seem like the perfect way to snack through September.