The Hair Nap

Once in a while one of the younger children will ask to brush my hair.

This is roughly the only time my too-long hair ever makes it out of it’s little nest on the top of my head (yes, same look since grade eight, I never changed).

I usually comply because a) sometimes having a toddler clumsily tug at my hair with a brush is the closest thing a hard working mommy gets to a scalp massage, and b) I can lie on the couch for this.  This means, there is a great possibility that I may achieve a 3 minute nap.  

I am not joking.

After dinner this evening, Poppy (age 2) trundled up to me with a soft hair-brush and asked if she could brush my hair.  It my post-dinner fatigue all I needed was the suggestion and I readily let my hair down while fluffing a pillow, so that I could lay my head at the end of the couch.  Then, I let my hair down over the side while Poppy brushed.

I slipped into a deep 45 second nap.

…Until some aggressive tugging of my hair awoke me.  I dozily mused that she must have exchanged a rough comb for the soft brush.

I looked back at her.

In her hands were scissors, real *big person* scissors.

{Cue the horror music.}

It took me a moment to put it all together.

That sweet little pixie had just cut a wad of hair out of my head and was looking pretty impressed with herself to boot.

Bravo, Mom of nine.

The learning never ends… I guess that’ll be the end of the Hair Naps.

Speaking Together

pop

“Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:-
We murder to dissect.”
-William Wordsworth

I think that if I had to hunker down and tease out the core essential ingredient in educating a child, I would say: the word.

While the the written word is also on the short list of fundamentals, I believe it is in our spoken words and our conversations with our children that their minds and hearts are most deeply cultivated.

It is so very easy; every parent has this educational tool at her disposal! It’s remarkable, really, that what we need to educate our children is simply two ears and a tongue, and we come fully equipped with both.

To grow an educated child, speak to him. Talk about deep things, funny, confusing, frustrating, hurting, challenging, marvellous, fascinating, quotidian, silly things. The more a parent speaks to her child, the more both parent and child linger in the warm places of heart, where the interaction itself engages and establishes the mind and waters the spirit.  It is the parental attention as much as the words that impart the growth.

Conversation is impossible, however, if a parent is not much with her child, or if she doesn’t turn off the gadgets that are hellbent on stealing her attention, or if she is in a constant state of irritation when her child is around her (impatience is a foul companion to conversation).

The art of gentle, exploratory conversation is crafted in the dailiness of life together. Yet, many families are robbed of this beautiful opportunity by a busy world and (ironically) too many school hours.

Conversation is the most simple educational tool available to all, and yet, increasingly the most difficult. If we would let go of all the fussy excuses that masquerade as education (often simply soothing our own insecurities) and deliberately speak with and listen to our children (luxuriously and unhurriedly) I believe we would see a cultural restoration.

I would encourage you to fight for this one, as not only will your child’s knowledge grow, but in the sharing of your hearts, you will knit between you a bond that will keep you close.

Holy Work

My earlier mother days.

{My earlier mothering days.}

She dotes and coos, a regular mother hen. Two-year-old Poppy croons little sounds that don’t make sense to her infant sister, they lock eyes and smile. Mother-in-the-bud, already.

The familiar context where I have heard the word brooding has been in relation to a mother hen. Yet here I find, in the very first chapter of Genesis, the essence of the same term in relation to the Holy Spirit, brooding over and anticipating the birthing of the earth.

“The earth was without form and… darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering/brooding) over the face of the waters…” Genesis 1:2 (AMP)

I am impacted by the very maternal image this evokes; the gentle Holy Spirit anticipating manifesting the Word of God through creative action. Today, I felt this rush of connection, as I realized that I too am about my Father’s business: the art of establishing life, of brooding over the deep places, this is the labour of the mother’s heart.

The Holy Spirit works in the unseen space, in the quiet and hidden realm, where life begins and roots into the deep places. A mother, too, works in the quiet of another dimension… the deep waters of the heart.

This is a most holy work; every breath, every word, and every touch is an opportunity to establish a love that remains forever, a love that will not die though all else passes away.  I felt, today, a shudder of awareness that cultivating life is art of the greatest magnificence, and an act of hope of the greatest magnitude.  In fact, in some small way, we are actively contributing to the divine work of God on this earth.

As I gaze upon my girls, I pulse with a love most {painfully} tender and yet fiercely robust. I touch a silky curl, I breathe in the scent of baby soft skin, and wonder at the beauty that floods my life… this, right here, is worth everything.

God knew first, that life would be worth the cost. Every time.

Pushing Dirt Around

IMG_4125Life is full and at times overwhelming; the details and the busy business of being alive can be consuming.

But, it’s all just pushing dirt around if I miss the main point of living.

If I miss the bigger purpose of my life, it doesn’t matter where I shove the dirt, or how I organize the dirt, or how high I pile it up; if I miss my higher call, all I have at the end is a heap of heavy dust.

Not worth anything.

And so, today, at the beginning of another {likely} busy week, I encourage you to pause with me, to rest, to reflect and meditate on who you were made to be.  Then, work from there as you determine how to spend these brief and sacred moments of your precious life.

You are a blessing.  It’s time to let go of the dirt and embrace reality; what is essential is unseen.

Words that Grow

In all our enthusiasm about the Trading Post, we may have planted some of our seeds too early. These plants are growing rapidly!

Tobin has been so proud of his very fast growing bean plant. He has literally carried it around the house with him for the last few days, sharing the joy of it’s growth with anyone who would care to listen and observe.

But then, the unthinkable happened. When he was watering it, the top half of the shoot broke off. The leaves were now completely severed from the stem, leaving a little twig of a green stem exposed and broken. I told him I wasn’t sure if it could still grow without those two little solar panels doing their job, but he decided to hope.

IMG_4062

Later, I found the words “Grow” and “Love” written on the side of his little plant.

IMG_4065

We’ve been learning a lot about the power of words these days, and so he put his new understanding into practice.

Two days later he came back to me and said, “Mom, look at this! It’s growing again! My words worked!!

IMG_4064

A new, persistent little shoot is now coming up from the root.

There is a little boy that decided to speak life words to that bean plant and it ‘heard’ him.

Aren’t we all like that little bean?

IMG_4089

{We just need others to believe in us; to speak life over us. Even if we look a little bit crazy!}