A friend recently forwarded an email to me titled "The Invisible Mother," a short essay comparing the tireless and often thankless job of a mother to the builders of Europe's great cathedrals. Both give their whole lives for a work they will never see finished, both make sacrifices and expect no credit, and both are fueled in their passion by the faith that the eyes of God see every detail. The writer of the essay was inspired by the thought that our endless efforts in motherhood, invisible as they may seem, are worth it and can make an enriching life.
For many of us, the way we choose to hold our invisibility at bay is by creating something tangible. For me, my days often end with knitting - my love of fiber and the need to do something relaxing end up producing something I can hold and look at. Nobody will know how many times I swept under the high chair that day, or how many toys I picked up, or how many times I tried to coax a "please" or "more" or "sorry" out of my 5 year old. But a darling, handmade infant hat? That you can see.
I start new projects every day, and my 10 year old does the same. In this process of creating (and yes, often not finishing our projects!) we connect with each other and a bigger picture of ourselves in the process. My plan for this blog is to share the projects that excite me and bring some accessible proof of my existence in this invisible world of mothering!
So, this blog is dedicated to the mothers out there whose days are filled with the minutia of tasks that build our children and our families. I often tell people that I haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. But for now, I am the builder of a great cathedral. With every shoelace tied, lunch packed, and forehead kissed, I build.
And I can hardly wait to create something new...
Monday, June 13, 2011
The Perfect Day
The camp staff was wonderful, the food was plentiful, the activities were fabulous. I let Rowan set the course for the day, outside of the required mealtimes and suggested flag ceremonies. We crafted, hiked, swam, explored, crafted some more, cooked (Rowan lit her first matches!), ate like kings, sang songs, made new friends, snuggled, had bedtime milk and warm cookies, slept pretty darn well on our perma-tent cots, and were sad to leave camp on Sunday morning. Lots of smiles, laughter, hand-holding, and "this is the best day ever" comments. I tell ya, I was due for a day like that and I'll keep it with me a long, long time. For those who have daughters in Girl Scouts, DO THIS. (But probably not in August - ha!)
The first craft we took part in was making pillowcase art. Each camper was given a pillowcase on which to draw or write with permanent marker. Then we filled in our drawings with watered down acrylic paints, for a color-washed look. Once home, we ironed them then washed and dried them. Here's how they turned out...
Rowan attempted to make the Girl Scout daisy petals, and write the words from the "Make New Friends" song - it didn't quite turn out the way she'd hoped, but I think it's darling. :)
After a woodsy "I Spy" hike to the Prairie Fairy's house (in which one part of the trail was so steep you need to hold on to a rope!) we cooled off in the pool and then did our second craft - recycled bird houses. Someone had donated old fence posts to the camp, which had been fashioned into bird houses. We had fun painting and glittering ours, although by the time we got there most of the materials were gone and they were trying to wrap things up. We hurried a bit, but were still happy with the results.
I just finished sewing the camp patch on Rowan's new Brownie vest - her first "fun patch" as a Brownie!
Such a great weekend - I'm still on a total high from it!
A day or two before we left for camp, I finally finished the little hooded sweater I'd started in Iowa for Rowan's American Girl doll. Here it is:
Rowan has already picked out the next sweater she wants me to make for her doll, but I've decided to dig into my stash and start some charity sweater vests for Afghans for Afghanistans. I found a new pattern I haven't tried, and have cast on and put about 2 inches on the first sweater. More on that later.
Rowan has friends over today, but Brynn just woke up and it's time to be Mommy again. Good times. :)