Going to the Moon

Sometimes I dress up a little on ordinary days, just because it helps me feel better than wearing old stuff. Same with washing my hair even though I will just be home. It is no fun to look into the bathroom mirror throughout the day and see that I am having an awful hair day, nor to think, “We need milk, but there is no way I can walk into a store looking like this.” I still have not figured out how the pajama-clad folks at Walmart do it. I find I can’t even look. Not very long ago you got put into asylums for stuff like that.

This morning I dressed up a little because I knew I was going to sneak in a coffee hour with my sister-in-law at some point. The children usually notice the “going away clothes” right away. “Where are you going? Huh?” and if I reply, “To the moon. Wanna come along?” that’s our code for Mama is Going Solo This Time so Just Stop Begging.

Addy got to go along this afternoon. She was done with her school. Also she seems to be going through a scrappy streak, taking many things as personal affronts because she is the smallest child. The scrappiness comes out like a spitting kitten bristling its tail, and tends to degenerate quickly into howling cat-fights if there is no mother around. She is working hard at not getting her fur so knotted up, but there is a huge temptation for big brothers to stroke it wrong, just like a little experiment, not meaning anything by it, of course. I know now why my mom would ask my siblings and I if we even love each other. We would look at each other like, “Duh. Why does she wonder such a thing?”

I know now, too, why there were times when we had to sit and read and were not allowed to say one word until the timer beeped. Sometimes children at this house who spar constantly have to work together at a job like washing the kitchen floor on hands and knees, or doing dishes by hand, one washing and the other drying. Other times I make them play a game together. Occasionally they are not allowed to be in each other’s company at all until they miss the annoying sibling enough to be civil again. I don’t know whether any of these mechanisms are more effective than others. At least it makes me feel like I am being a parent, teaching them to value their siblings, but I have a feeling they think, “Duh. Why does she wonder such a thing?”

Well, that was a meandering trail. I got my groceries, including some highly processed food for our Valentine’s Day party tomorrow. We plan to have fun with the pretty dishes and sparkling juice in goblets. There will be finger sandwiches, Little Debbies cut up in tiny pieces, and some chocolate candy for each person. I like to include the children in this one; they are, after all, the direct result of Cupid’s arrows. Gabe and I rarely go out on Valentine’s Day, but we always do something nice for just the two of us; we are, after all, where this family started and it’s good to remind ourselves of that when the dust settles after the children go to bed.

I had two hours to drink coffee, eat a muffin, and just visit about life with my sister-in-law Rhonda. Our little girls played and we talked. It was a spot of quiet happiness in the day, and on the way home I reflected on how wonderful it is to haveΒ  friendships where I can walk into a house, pull my feet up on the couch, coffee mug in hand, just say whatever it is that is currently happy or sad in my life, and be completely accepted.

I told her I think I am writing mud these days, and she said it wasn’t that bad, so I will take her word for it. It’s a little weird to push through and publish posts that I am not excited about and that I know certainly won’t change the world and just possibly you are all terribly bored. My mind isn’t the strongest in midwinter. Also I am reading Jeremiah. And the children seem to get in each other’s space a lot.

I saw three road-killed skunks today. That means they are starting to stir out of their winter torpor, looking for love. That means baby skunks on the way and that means spring. It was a good sign, although I was sorry they died on their quests across the road.

Rita and I are growing little lawns inside the house. Here is mine.


A few adventurous sunflower seeds got mixed in with the potting soil, so they are pushing up sturdily as well. Rita has three different containers with grasses. She gives them haircuts with scissors when they get too tall. Gabe shakes his head, amused, but I told him we really can’t help it. Some of us are born with souls that need green and sprouting things. I cannot think of a worse plight than being called to live in the Arctic. I guess a cell would be worse.

Tonight was choir practice again, always a highlight in the week for me. I came back home to peaceful children, bless their hearts. They were listening to Anne of Avonlea on Librivox. Some were coloring up a storm and two of them were trying to braid as many little braids into each other’s hair as possible. Nobody had any troublesome tattles to tale, which I feel I should mention in all fairness. They really are “nice”, which is what our elderly neighbor used as the one all-purpose adjective for them. Sure, I had some kitchen cleanup to do yet, but all in all it has been a good day.

Tomorrow is the day to celebrate the people we love! Let’s pull out the stops and really bless them, how about it?


12 thoughts on “Going to the Moon

  1. Please don’t feel that your posts are boring as mud. I realized the other month, when I was evaluating my social media use, that my handful of favorite mommy bloggers are filling a void in my personal life. I don’t have any real-life big sisters, so I gravitate to the moms who are 5-10 years ahead of me in their mom journey. There is so much wisdom I glean from the normal “Mennonite” blogger moms, who faithfully repeat their housework and parenting and perhaps homeschooling, and put it on the world wide Web. In this very post for instance, I gleaned such valuable ideas for dealing with sibling bickering. So, thank you, for blogging. It gives me encouragement and hope.

  2. I whole heartedly agree with Marie above! I too, was gleaning ideas for sibling bickering. I have tried a few, but some of these are new variations. Thanks for writing!
    And growing grass indoors…how creative! I’m about to try alphalpha sprouts…though that doesn’t take soil. πŸ˜‰

  3. I’m truly enjoying your daily posts, even though sometimes I’m way behind! Because I forget to check ALL my email selections….. primary, social, promotions. You are in my social section. I like that cause I like how sociable you are.
    Now I need to go catch up on the other posts. (And no, not mud at all)

  4. I’m so behind with reading your posts.
    😦 I too sat up straighter with the bit about sibling arguments and how you handle them. Quiet wisdom flows from you.

    No mud here! You are writing. That’s more than I’ve been doing.

  5. I’m glad someone else thought of skunks as a sign of spring. Yesterday on our way home from piano lessons we sniffed a skunk and I commented that I was happy for it because it meant spring was on it’s way. My Gracie looked at me like I had 3 heads. She’s ready for spring but she had never once skunks foretelling it’s arrival.

  6. I hope you are still writing when my children are in the stages yours are now. And yes, I agree with other commenters: this is a very practical way to teach younger women around you how to love their husbands, nurture their children, and keep their homes. All of us out here really appreciate the transparency and humility you show in allowing us to learn from/with you.
    PS. Is Rhonda living in PA again?

      1. Ha, “shower” is right… Due to the extreme inefficiency of Comcast, we still don’t have internet at our new place after 6 months of waiting on a large chain of people this connection apparently must go through. So my time online is sporadic and correspondence with me is either drought or downpour. πŸ™‚

      2. And how I would love to see Rhonda again! Every once in a while I see her comment on your space here and I always want to wave at her and chat. πŸ™‚ Hi, Rhonda!!

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