Friday, May 4

Fifty minutes of wonderfulness

Yesterday we arranged our day so that the older three children actually worked from school books. It was pretty weird. But what I really want to share is what I was able to do during part of that time.

For a couple of weeks, I've been looking at the area by my back door and thinking about sitting out there and reading a book. That isn't as easy for me as so many women can make it sound. I can't stand heat, direct sunlight, or bugs. For the past few years and up until recently, the only non-Bible reading I've done from actual books has been about how to parent (mostly children who do not want to be parented), how to be a better wife, and an overly chatty book on how to get my child through high school, which I cannot bring myself to finish. Most of my reading was done with gritted teeth and a tension headache and at least a wee bit of anger or resentment in my heart.

So there I was, imagining reading being easy and relaxing and wonderful, and enjoying this bit of earth and nature where God has placed us. And then reality imposed itself upon my imagining and I knew that I would not be able to do such a thing and leave my littles unsupervised, not even for five minutes.

It was yesterday afternoon when the ingenuity that helped me survive single parenthood with two young children returned for one brilliant moment. The littles grabbed their towels, and I grabbed Jon's reading book (even he can't resist Hank the Cowdog), a couple of good "look at" books, and a thoroughly enjoyable fiction book for myself. We headed out the back door, and I set the timer for the length of the big kids' next work session.

After setting the kids up on their towels with instructions to be quiet and stay on their towels, I passed out the books. They had a great time relaxing quietly! This allowed me to relax and enjoy my own book, with only minor interruptions to watch the grackles and the sparrow and the goldfinches and the tree swallows, admire the pink blossoms beginning to open on the bird feeder tree, wonder why I had never before noticed how beautiful tamaracks are in spring, and hope the hosta I brought from Michigan to Kentucky to Minnesota will grow in the shade garden the kids are helping me start.

The best part of this kind of wonderfulness is that I can probably do it again... a lot! It will get hotter, there will be more bugs, but there will also be many more days like yesterday. It does my heart good to have something simple, quiet, and peaceful to look forward to.


  1. I'm so glad you were able to work that out.

    So what're you reading?

    -- Julie

  2. Good for you, Heidi!

    Do you have paypal? I'll by that overly chatty book from ya, if it's the one I think it is. ;-)

    Trying to post a comment one more time ...

  3. That is just wonnnnderful, Heidi! You described it so well that I felt like I was right there, looking out at the birds, too. I've never seen a Tree Swallow, does it's trunk bulge or something?

    LOL Sorry, couldn't help myself.