Yes, it is fall, and yes, the outdoors are beautiful right now. I'll leave it to the more poetic minds out there to wax about the season, because they probably don't have loud toddler chatter as distracting background noise. It really makes contemplation and the conjuring of lyrical prose difficult achievements. Suffice it to say, we are enjoying this momentary jolt of warm weather with afternoon swims, airy sun dresses, walks under the canopy of fiery leaves and primal displays of enthusiasm via interpretive dance on our front lawn. Look at that, I can be slightly poetic amidst the cacophony of little girl shrieks.
Some days I find really easy activities to engage the girls' attention that are both age- and season-appropriate. On those days, the deafening screams of toddler arguments are tuned out by my new favourite frequency: quiet confidence. Today was one such day. (Mondays make for great resolution-setting days, don't they? If I am to declare myself a renewed mama of patience, no yelling, calmness and fun ideas, it might as well be on a Monday.)
We went for a short walk, all the little girls on foot, to a neighbour with a giant pine tree down the street. They collected big, open pine cones in little buckets. At home, we spread a peanut butter-oat mixture all over the pine cones, tied string to the tops, and rolled them in birdseed. This process was messy, involved several reminders not to eat the birdseed (before my resolve was thinned and I just let them eat birdseed), and, the best part: proud little grins.
|It was messy. Many seeds were eaten.|
My recent decision to pare down our level of busy-ness came in good time. I had forgotten how many needs our home has this time of year. This weekend there was a garden to cut back, logs to pile for firewood, and family dinners to prepare. It felt really productive to perform sweaty, hard work with immediate and visible benefits. Abby helped me finish cutting back the hydrangea and plant some tulip bulbs for next spring. The little girls contributed their pine cone bird feeders, to help our bird neighbours fatten up for winter. Rich helped dig up some ugly, brown-flowering bushes to make way for berry bushes next year.
|Dried, chopped and ready to burn|
|The remains of our family maple tree|