It's been so super cold here. In the early morning I lie in bed listening to J breathe, unwilling to part from his side, from the warmth of being next to him, from the stillness that just is. I often miss that window of Alone that comes with early rising. It seems that this exists only in a very slim moment of time between sleep and kids waking with exuberance for another day. I missed it entirely today and woke up to boys crashing legos in bins, toilets flushing, and one bright eyed little girl calling "Good morning!" to anyone who would listen.
We make coffee. I scramble eggs. He finishes fixing the DVD player that we need for math, even though he is running a little behind. I add feta, pour cream, set the table. Ponder the day. Plan the loose ends of school in my mind. (we will do that science experiment today. we will make playdough. we will remember to gather the eggs before they freeze) Boys tumble in for breakfast. Fry their own eggs while J and I eat together for the last moment of our day together. We read scripture and pray as a family and off he goes. I pray in my mind for his trip to work in this forty below zero weather while I get everyone dressed. Well...they are older now...so some of them do actually do this on their own. I'm mostly just needed to find socks. We have some kind of abyss at our house that sucks up socks and leaves lonely stragglers in random places. It is a thorn in my side....but I digress.
School starts one by one. We are working on helping the boys become independent. That's one of the reasons we homeschool. We want them to love learning and to know how to do it by themselves. This morning I helped with spelling and equivalent fractions and three digit subtraction. I read to Flower over and over again. Badger is working on writing a book so I edit his typing while I wash the dishes and clean the kitchen and bathroom. I help Hen with his crazy drippy eye. (Did I mention we have been passing around a cold for a few weeks now?) Hen's poor eye is just tearing all the time. It's so crazy cold in this dear old house that his skin is so dry and irritated from the tears. I run the shower for the steam and refill the teakettle.
We make homemade pizzas for lunch. I let Cricket grate the cheese and while the pizza bakes I reclean the kitchen. We eat pizza and watch the beginning of Mary Poppins with our lunch today. (We usually listen to a book on disc but just finished the Silver Chair and are waiting to find something new.) We make it to "Just a Spoonful of Sugar..." then decide to clean up and get ready for a piano student. Just one today...and they are good friends of ours...a welcome diversion. I put Flower down for a nap. Read more stories. Snuggle. Talk to her about all the flowers on her walls in her room. Listen to her sing herself to sleep.
Start laundry. Brush teeth. Drink another cup of coffee. Think about how I should've done those last two things in the reverse order. Teach piano. Play chess with my boy, even though I really do not like chess. Realize once again how worth it it is to do something I am not fond of in order to connect with these wonderful kids. Fix Hen's eye again. Make playdough in four different colors. Realize how late it is and put a roast in the oven. Clean kitchen again. Play with baby. Play chess. Set table. Decide to listen to music and just as I put the disc in J walks in the door. Wow. Some days it goes fast.
We sit down to eat supper together. Pray. I think about how in Little Women Meg and John don't love each other any less though they look at each other over the familiar little teapot. It's so that way for us. He always smiles at me at the dinner table.
We call Grandma for her birthday. Everyone takes turns singing and talking. We do dishes, play one last game of chess. J takes them up for bed and reads more stories. He brings me a crossword after he goes out in the cold to take care of the chickens. We snuggle in with each other and work on it until it's finished. (it is a Monday afterall) We play music together. Tumble into bed later than we should. I lie down next to him and listen to him breathe. He is here. Here is now. And it's so good.