The Story in the Details Today

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

It’s a slow, unhurried Wednesday morning, with nothing on the agenda. The sun is shining and spring is definitely beginning to peek its head around the corner. Larkin and I are tucked together on the couch under the same blanket. She is drinking chocolate milk and eating small powdered donuts while she watches “Pumpkin George”, one of her top cartoon picks (Curious George Boo Fest). I have a kindle book and some cross stitching on hand, and it’s completely okay if we stay right here for awhile.

Sitting here, I notice how Noah is slowly taking over the top of our TV cabinet with his various treasures— Legos and Chicago souvenirs from last week’s trip.

I am lightly amused by the story of our family life this armoire-top is telling today. Here is what I see:
  1. The “real” decor— a beautiful and cheerful print, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, by Rifle Paper Co., a gift from my bestie Genny. An antique black fan, a treasure find from our Masonic Lodge caretaking days. The “Be Attitudes” and “@“ signs on the wall. (I always meant to also hang a “home” sign next to the “@“, so it would make more sense.)
  2. The box for Joe’s bb8 Sphero. Missing the actual bb8, which I need to round up for him.
  3. The Mylar balloon word “love”, leftover from my Valentine’s photo shoot. I couldn’t bring myself to toss it yet, so it just hangs out here.
  4. Tucked in back, mostly out of sight, the odious bucket of faux snowballs my kids LOVE and I loathe. A gift from a sister several years ago, these things end up in every corner of this room when the kids decide to play “snowball fight” (in fact, from my spot on the couch, I see at least one rogue ball under the toy bench. Of course.). And these things gather alll the hair and strings and lint and are just old and dingy and gross and are NEVER all in one place together. The kids LOVE THEM. Joe put the bucket up here, sort of hidden, after picking them up yet again last night.
  5. Two DVD cases— one for Wall-E, another of Larkin’s current favorites, and one for Ponyo, one of the latest in Joe’s attempts to educate his kids in the Studio Ghibli canon of films.
  6. Several LEGO creations- some original designs and some from sets, all of them Noah’s, set out of reach of Larkin. Eventually, he will be asked to take these back upstairs to his LEGO table, but for now, they’re “decor”.
  7. And the most recent additions— Noah’s two Chicago souvenirs, a Willis Tower bell and a skyline snow globe, both carefully chosen and paid for with his souvenir allowance (“plus I’m going to use ten dollars of my own money while we’re in Chicago, okay, Mom?”). He is really proud of these items. He chose well.

At any given time, there are little stories in the details of our homes— things that matter, evidence of challenging times or good memories or current routines that will one day be obsolete. When the house is all tidied up and things are put away, that tells a story. And when things are awry and “stuff” is strewn and set about, those items tell a story too. And all of it is worth telling. When my home is put together and all the Legos and souvenirs and old photo props are put away, the story is that I am feeling cheerful and motivated and productive, and probably at peace and maybe in a planning/goal making groove. When there is a little bit of semi-organized clutter about, our lives are probably a little busier than usual, or we’ve had a few more gray days than usual... but it’s still kind of neat to think about why things end up where they are, not yet put back away: like I can see Quinn’s lovey and two of his stuffed animals over on the toy bench, and I realize he brings at least one item from his bed downstairs every morning before school— just to help him transition from cozy jammie sleep to getting dressed and ready for the day. It’s sweet, actually, and I don’t mind putting his lovey and friends back upstairs for him most days. Or Noah’s souvenirs: I know they are still new enough that they are freshly special to him, so if he wants them here, in the family room, on display for now... I can let them stay for awhile.

Ultimately, I’ll find another pocket of cheerful motivation, and things will get put back away. And that’s great. But today, I’m enjoying the details of the things left out, the things out of place... and I’m relishing the feeling of a full home and a good, simple, sometimes crazy little life here.

Larkin and the Little Red Book

Sunday, March 3, 2019

  • Because she is always grabbing this Chaucer book off of my little book display. 
  • Because she happened to match the book on this February morning. 
  • Because I had done her hair in anticipation of heading out the door on errands. 
  • Because she chose the rain boots herself. 
  • Because every time we put on her Totoro socks, she and I sing the Totoro song. 
  • Because I always have a child's chair handy.
  • Becuase the front door open lets in just the right amount of light. 
  • Because she won't be this little forever.
  • Because I adore having her as my daily sidekick for this beautiful time we have left before the world scoops her up. 

Unplanned, perfectly wonderful photos from my spunky, darling, fun 2.5 year old on an average winter weekday.


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