Friday, July 29, 2011

Poem for the Day

I am trying to compose a blog about my husband. He is feeling a little left out and pointed out that I haven't blogged about him in while. While I am trying to compose my thoughts, enjoy this poem. It is from NPR's Writer's Almanac. It reminds me of my husband and my dad although I am pretty certain that neither of them has found poetry in small engine repair. At least not consciously that is.

Prayer for the Small Engine Repairman

by Charles W. Pratt

Our Sundays are given voice
By the small engine repairman,
Whose fingers, stubby and black,
Know our mowers and tractors,
Chainsaws, rototillers,
Each plug, gasket and valve
And all the vital fluids.
Thanks to him our lawns
Are even, our gardens vibrant,
Our maples pruned for swings,
The underbrush whacked away.
"What's broke can always be fixed
If I can find the parts,"
He says as he loosens a nut,
Exposes the carburetor,
Tinkers and tunes until
To the slightest pull on the cord
The engine at once concurs.
Let him come into our homes,
Let him discipline our children,
Console and counsel our mates,
Adjust the gap of our passions,
The mix of our humors: lay hands
On the small engine of our days.

Overheard from the loft this afternoon

"How beautiful, a Spanish flamenco dancer turned princess!"

"I am going to marry a cowboy and live in Texas."

"Do you have any medical training?"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


My baby turned ten yesterday. No more single digit children. My parents have ten grandchildren. They are all now over a decade old.

The transition from infant to girl flew by. Ten years, I blinked and when I opened my eyes a decade was gone.

Ten years ago a little girl arrived at 1:55am on a Tuesday morning. I wanted to sleep but she was ready to enter the world. She continued to cry and not let me sleep for the next six months. She wouldn't sleep through the night without me for another seven years.

Hilde loves to snuggle and given the chance would still sleep as close to me as possible. This means no sleep for me, so she doesn't get the chance unless we are on vacation.

Hilde is my peacemaker. She would rather be kind than right.

Hilde loves animals. This is a tragedy because her sister, mother and father are allergic to most animals and Hilde is allergic to none. She wants to be a veterinarian and if she can conquer math, I am sure she will be.

Hilde only wears skirts and dresses. The only pair of pants she owns are riding pants. She only wears them because her love of horses is greater than her hatred of pants. She points out that in the "olden days" girls did everything in skirts and so can she.

Hilde loves jewelry and she loves to window shop. This birthday her special experience was shopping at fancy and fun stores in OKC. I think Daniel was glad he didn't have to go and I think Hilde was glad dad wasn't there to say things like, "That is a ridiculous waste of money." Instead she got to ooh and aah over things we couldn't afford and it was fun for the three Perrin girls to peruse.

Hilde loves music. She plays violin and she hums and sings all the time. If she is not humming or singing she is talking because she is my extrovert and she needs to be with people and talk things over out loud. I wonder where she gets that?

Hilde also loves to read my blog. She thinks it is good. This is why I keep her around. She has asked me twice if I have blogged about her birthday yet.

Hilde loves poetry. She decided a few years ago to begin to memorizing different pieces. Her favorite and first memorization was Hope is a Thing with Feathers. It fits Hilde perfectly.

Apparently, when Maeve turned ten I gave her a card with a poem. Hilde reminded me that she needed a poem for her birthday this year. You get a poem when you turn ten.

Here is Hilde's birthday poem. It is by Christina Rossetti:

A Birthday by Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;

My heart is like an apple-tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;

My heart is like a rainbow shell

That paddles in a halcyon sea;

My heart is gladder than all these

Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;

Hang it with vair and purple dyes;

Carve it in doves and pomegranates,

And peacocks with a hundred eyes;

Work it in gold and silver grapes,

In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;

Because the birthday of my life

Is come, my love is come to me.

A classic poem for a classic little girl.

Happy Birthday Hilde girl.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Have you met Iris?

According to the name of my blog, you can guess that I strive to bring a certain sense of greater purpose to motherhood. I think too often people, mostly moms ourselves, forget what an transformational role we have.

The reality is motherhood is a mixed bag. There are days where you can see the greater purpose and go to bed loving your kids and believing that all is right with the world; at least your corner of it.

Some days life as a mother in modern society is bewildering and keeping up with the right way to raise children can be daunting and downright exhausting. So many things to manage, your head is spinning.

Then there are days when you just want to say F**** this, I hear corporate American and boarding school calling.

On these days, every day really, I turn to my friend Iris. (She's not really a friend, but a friend in Facebook world and I would like to think we would be friends is we met.)

The Bearded Iris, is another mom blog and she explores the purpose motherhood from an *ahem* entirely different angle.

Iris blogs about motherhood, personal hygiene, homemaking, etcetera with a certain Je nais se quoi. Which is French for the the woman has cojones and is hysterically funny.

Iris notices the potty humor in mothering. She says things everyone wants to say out loud. When I read her blog, I laugh at loud and laugh uncontrollably. More than once I have been laughing so hard my children have noticed and wanted to read what was so funny. Iris is NOT child appropriate, so I usually slam down the laptop so they can't read over my shoulder until the laughing ceases.

I have also been caught laughing hours and days later about a post and had to explain why I was giggling in the grocery store. I can no longer walk down the ethnic hair aisle in Target without laughing.

I read Iris and you should too. I can't promise it will make you a better person but it will make you a funnier person. Motherhood needs funny people. We have a big job and we all need a laugh.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lordy, Lordy Look Who's Forty

I celebrated a milestone birthday recently. It took my forever in blog years to write about it because I was waiting for something profound to say. I waited and waited and waited and nothing.

Here's what happened:

I celebrated with great friends and family and a True Grit showdown.

(The original John Wayne or the Cohen Brothers, Jeff Bridges version? My honest answer: both were good. I will have to say that John Wayne, was well, John Wayne and Jeff Bridges was actually an amazing Rooster Cogburn. The new version is much darker than the original. The old version is a classic.)

I enjoyed several restaurant dinners with sparkling conversation and was surrounded by children I adore.

It doesn't really get any better than that.

I realized I didn't have time to be retrospective because I was busy with life. I still had to do laundry, clean, get the girls to activities, feed everyone, go to the grocery and pay bills.

Maybe when I am fifty, I will plan to take a break and be purposefully reflective. Trying to take a break at forty doesn't seem like the responsible thing to do. There is too much stuff to do.

Anyway, this is what I settled on. I love my life. My kids amaze me. I am more the person I was created to be now than any year before. Forty isn't as bad as I imagined and as they say in Lake Wobegon, "It could be worse."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Busy girls

As summer rolls on, our schedule consists of bursts of outside activities (gymnastics, dance, violin) and then stretches inside the house hiding from the heat. It has been 100 degrees or more consistently for over a month. Yuck. It's kind of like how we lived in New England in February except with excessive perspiration.

Luckily, I have resourceful girls. While in hibernation they have been reading. Yes, actually books in their hands. This afternoon for hours it was silent as both girls were lost in their books. It was so silent, I wanted to take a picture. I didn't for fear it would break the lovely silence. Instead I joined them and we all read for a long time. Ahh.

They are also growing things.

These are the bean spouts from VBS a month ago still going strong.

They also make things. Maeve has made earrings and Hilde made a bobble head doll out of Sculpey. I have pictures of neither because they were both gifts.

Today, Hilde sewed this:

This is the tooth fairy pillow she was inspired to make.
She used the sewing machine this time (we finally un-boxed it), usually she sews by hand.

They also have screen time. They use the computer to play a very intricate horse game, where they breed and train horses. I often hear, "My foal was born today, I need a name." and other horse-people language that I don't understand because, well, I don't speak horse-people language. (What's the difference between a bay and chestnut again? They're both brown, right?)

I realized tonight after they had gone to bed what a unique thing it is to have two girls who can occupy themselves, get along and create things. Most parents are going bonkers, counting the days until school is back in session.

Me, I am wandering around my house amazed and very grateful.