A story about my once-in-a-great-while picture perfect life.
I often joke with a friend that I long for my life to be like a page from one of our favorite picture books, Ox Cart Man...
... and his daughter took her needle and began stitching,
and his son took his Barlow knife and started whittling,
and they cooked dinner in their new kettle,
and afterward everyone ate a wintergreen peppermint candy,
and that night the ox-cart man sat in front of his fire
stitching a new harness for the young ox in the barn...
(from Ox-Cart Man, by Donald Hall, illustrations by Barbara Cooney)
Most of our evenings are a hectic jumble from the moment we sit down to dinner (well, some of us sit, and some of us think it's ok to lounge on top of the table...) to all that follows... "clear off your place, brush your teeth, use the toilet, did you shower?? Are you dirty?? Clear off your place! What do you mean you're not dirty?! Look at this filth! Stop hiding your brother's pajamas, get off of the baby, put some underwear on!! What do you mean we're out of shampoo? and soap? and toothpaste and toilet paper?? CLEAR OFF YOUR PLACE. I don't know where the chapter book is, check under the couch, what? why is the baby under the couch?? Ah! What is that sticky, disgusting mess? Let's say prayers, stop using a foolish voice, stop putting your foot on your sister's shoulder, "All for the greater glory of God" (huh??) ok - time for bed, get in your bed please, stay in bed please, GET BACK IN YOUR BED NOW! NO. you do not need a band aid.... Or a mini screw driver... If it's still itchy in the morning, I'll put some cream on it.... In the morning.... She's still talking? Put your pillow over your head.... No, the Red Sea is not still parted... Great. You woke up the baby. GO TO SLEEP." (talk to me, ladies... is this normal or is this just us???)
The truth is, even though I whine that my life will never be as idyllic as the Ox-cart family's, we do have rare evenings that play out like the picture book. When they do I cherish it! Once in a while we are all together in front of the fire (bonus!), some happily coloring, some crocheting, some sewing, some nursing (!), and some reading. In those moments I feel like everything is perfect.
If one of my great joys is peaceful, non-hectic family time, another is handicrafts and creative endeavors. I take so much joy in sewing and crafting that I'm always anxious for my children to experience the same joy and satisfaction that comes from creating something beautiful. For the most part, my boys get that from their Lego creations and their various inventions utilizing materials from the recycling bin (the "cereal dispenser" they duct taped to the dining room wall comes to mind...) But they also (to my delight) enjoy trying their hand at other crafty things once in a while.
I was thrilled when Aaron asked to work on some simple embroidery projects for Christmas gifts. It just makes my heart sing! And then I loved this picture that I got while he was working :) It captured the delight I take in my kids creating things, as well as the warmth of heart I feel when we're all gathered together in the living room, happily occupied and loving being together.
"...there is something holy, something divine hidden in the most ordinary
situations, and it is up to each on of you to discover it."
Passionately Loving the World, St. Josemaria Escriva