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...
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Our weekend started with Brynn having a fever of 102 Friday evening. This turned into a morning at the walk-in clinic with 2 catheter procedures and lots of poking and prodding. Diagnosis was a UTI, so we picked up meds and headed home to nap. 2:30pm the fever was at 104.4 and she started vomiting. The afternoon/evening was spent at the hospital. Another catheter. IV hookup and a cocktail of meds. Terrified, feverish, exhausted child. You get the picture. The fever becomes manageable and Sunday is spent watching her closely, so I get false hope that we're past the worst and I can start planning complex party foods to make for Bunco Wednesday night.
By Monday the Augmentin antibiotic has taken ahold and by Tuesday is wreaking havoc on Brynn's digestive system. Explosive, watery diapers and poop on the floor, on the couch, on Brynn, on toys, on me. Today is even worse, with a diaper change every 30 minutes - the soiled laundry piling up faster than I can keep track of and Rowan and I constantly paranoid about when the next attack will hit. Brynn is fussy and hard to keep entertained and her poor bottom is now raw and blistery and changing each diaper is a wrestling match. The doctor has been called, and most likely we will take her off these meds and NEVER have her take Augmentin again! LORD.
This being said (and yes, thank you for your sympathy!), you can imagine the state of my kitchen and the general chaos of my personal state when I share what was already in process when the diaper issue began:
- Garnished chutney crackers
- Sinful spuds (stuffed with feta, pine nuts, dried currants, lemon zest)
- Artichoke heart truffles
- Lemon asparagus with prosciutto
- Caprese skewers
- Lemon chicken/snow pea skewers
- Key lime tartlets
- Petit au pain chocolat
With the ingredients purchased and much prep already done there was no turning back! Most of these recipes have handy "do ahead" sections, so as of this afternoon all of them are in some form of being finished and took some serious calendar planning to make sure things fell in order. Throw in laundry, the diaper wrestling, and the entertaining of 2 children in the mix and I come out looking like wonder woman. And I did shower (at 11:30, whilst the girls also bathed)! The wine is chilling now, and I am so ready to not be home this evening I can't even tell you! The final headcount for bunco (which is usually around 12 or 13) is 6. Let's hope most of the food is awesome and worth the effort (the key lime tartlets turned out looking like a bad science experience and resemble...well, I won't say. With whipped cream on top they are almost edible. Almost.)
Once I have all the purty party food on plates tonight, I will take pictures to share. If I remember the camera.
Also on Sunday, in an effort to cheer myself up after the long day at the hospital, I finished the last of the Afghan sweaters (still need to block that puppy) and treated myself to a new project.
Flimsy, lacy, and a bit more challenging than the sweaters - my desire to knit has suddenly increased again! I found a pattern I picked up who-knows-when as well as some lace yarn I bought in Iowa sometime and have cast on and made enough progress on my "Flutter Scarf" to see the pattern emerging. The ends will flare out slightly with a hint of ruffle, which is a bit more feminine than I usually choose so this will be fun!
The scarf starts with a "Provisional cast-on" using scrap yarn (mine is red) which marks the center of the scarf. Once I knit down and complete one flared end, I will remove the red yarn and have live stitches to put on my needle in order to knit the other half. The yarn, a lace weight Malabrigo, is a baby merino wool. Yummy!
Before all the craziness of the weekend hit, I got busy preparing materials for the upcoming Brownie year. Our parent meeting and registration is on the 21st, with our first girl gathering on the 31st, so I get to play "teacher" and get my "classroom" and supplies ready!
I made folders for the parent information (yellow) and a folder for each girl (green) as well as a bunch of Brownie Beanies for the kaper chart! (Last year each girl had a Daisy flower with their name on it to show which job they had at the meeting - this year is the laminated Beanies.) We are really going to focus on having the girls be responsible for their own belongings this year, so I also created a "I can pack my own Brownie Bag!" checklist for them to keep. It lists the meeting dates and what should be packed in their bag for each one. No more "my mom didn't pack my folder" excuses!
I also updated and created new laminated posters for my display chart that I bring to each meeting:
Thank you, Powerpoint! I worked on the materials needed for the Parent folder, and have just about finished tweaking the material order form, calendar and volunteer info, etc. I do love all the administrative tasks, I must admit. :)
My bamboo skewers are done soaking so it's time to assemble the chicken/snow peas. Then I can put the prepared feta mixture in my tiny scooped out new potatoes and assemble the Caprese skewers (fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes.) Then I'm home free until 6pm! There will be much white wine consumed this eve, methinks. ;)