I’ve had a particular thought about a million times in my life. This thought is related to many many many memories of my mother. Her garden. And a flower called statice.
You see, when I was growing up we lived in a very old farmhouse. Because there were a million kids in our family we had to promptly put up a fence around an area in the yard to contain all the littles. I don’t know, maybe the fenced in area was already there. Yes, we called it ‘the fenced in area’ and it was dreamy. My mom, being the magical person she is, planted things, magical things all around this fence. The things I remember were lemon balm, bee balm, straw flower and statice, but there were many more than that.
This old, old, farmhouse had a slightly less old addition of a sun room. It was an awkward room because the windows from the kitchen looked into it, which makes sense because those windows used to look outside. It was even more awkward because the door to the root cellar basement was on the sunroom floor and there were at least three levels of the floor which were three different materials. Some wood, some linoleum and some concrete. We used the sunroom to house a lot of our crafty projects…aka, messes.
Though I don’t think my mom considers herself very crafty, I remember her picking flowers and hanging them in bunches with twine or yarn on nails along the sunroom windows to dry. She had a bunch of different wooden vine wreaths that she would tuck the dried flowers in. I don’t remember where she hung the wreaths or what they looked like after she was done but I do remember this. She was peaceful, she worked at a slow pace that meant she was really enjoying herself. She was expressing her creativity in a chaotic world of homeschooling SEVEN children. In that time she was actually probably pregnant or breastfeeding. I have these idyllic visions of her cutting her flowers from large plants saturated in golden sunlight with butterflies and bees lazily coming off the plants and hanging in the air about her, a small smile resting on her face. It was her world, her space, her project and she loved it.
My world with little children is chaotic but I pursue the things I love for this very reason. I want my children to remember me being happy. Enjoying doing things because I love them. In a world that views stay at home moms as lazy and where a lot of value is placed on high salaries, academic achievements and career advancements, I hope I can instill in my children that there is value elsewhere. I don’t have to be quite as intentional as Shane because I am with my kids 24/7. He has a few hours before they sleep and so he spends time wrestling, taking them on errands, playing catch in the backyard or more recently, teaching Avery how to play video games with him. These are things he loves to do and he’s able to include at least the boys in a lot of them now.
For me, MY favorite thing. It’s gardening. My happy place. The boys often help me plant and dig but mostly they just play outside or in the hose while I work. They’re peaceful because I’m peaceful.