Monday, April 4, 2016

What's New

This is what my boot room looks like, just inside the front door: six pairs of shoes, five pairs of rubber boots, three pairs of winter boots, three pairs of running shoes, two pairs of work boots, one pair of fancy mama shoes, six rain jackets, five splash pants, two down vests, six spring jackets, two fleece jackets, cubbies still full of hats and mitts and a thin layer of mud, leaves and twigs brought in from our adventures.

This in-between season weather has us guessing every morning. This morning, the wind made the air feel like -22. Later this week, there's 20cm of snow in the forecast. Last week, it was 15 and balmy. What's a mama with a big family to do?

I find myself asking that question a lot lately, to no one in particular. What am I supposed to be doing here? What is required of me right this moment? And, last but not least, what do I want to be doing with this morning, afternoon or evening? With the same gusto that I spring clean, I am re-visiting and re-arranging priorities. Spring feels new. A magic breeze blows in, prompting me to look up exotic vacations I can't afford, plan summer road trips that are months away, begin writing little ditties no one will see and budget for bigger-ticket items I've been dreaming for a while.

There have been big and little new things: new plants and colours on our counter tops, new (to us) sandals for the girls awaiting warmer days, new books bought with Easter gift cards, new dishes being cooked, new rituals introduced. With the ushering in of new, I take a break and have to ask myself, What do I want for my family? What's important here? What matters to me? If I don't, I get carried away in the new and the bigger and the better and that's a recipe for debt, exhaustion and disappointment. No, thank you.

The girls are in new seasons of development, and that means we can go on new adventures we couldn't before, and try new activities together. I am eager to begin, but it requires taking a pause to  keep in mind what each girl can handle before losing interest, or patience. 

Abby can make us all breakfast, and loves to help. She is learning to ride her bike at the moment, on her terms, as always. Hailey can mostly write her name, but is so thirsty to learn the rest of the alphabet, and to keep working on her drawings. Robin has memorized a few books she likes to "read" to us, and wants to learn to do everything Abby can do. Summer has learned how to speak and joke about butts right alongside her sisters, but her little body hasn't quite caught up to what her mind thinks she can do. 

Case in point:

Summer is perpetually covered in bruises and bumps, because she just can't move as fast nor as dexterously as her sisters. Last week, she fell walking down the stairs too fast and cracked a tooth that had to be pulled. Her smile will look like this for the next six years or so, a constant reminder to me that my vigilance can only go so far in keeping them safe. Sigh. 

I guess the first thing I should do to usher in spring is go buy a big box of bandaids to get us started. Adventure awaits!

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