I'm reflecting on something my husband said yesterday...something that is so TRUE. He said that we are doing everything we can to surround ourselves with LIFE - we have a totally insane and very alive Red Dog; we have an enormously fluffy and playful Black Kitten-Cat (fat like a cat, aged like a kitten still); we have 8 baby-adolescent chicks. I'm growing about 100 plants in my house because it is too cold to put any of them out in the garden. Everywhere we look, it is life, Life, LIFE!
All of that life and liveliness starts to get to a person, and you just can't help feel the enthusiasm. Hope romps around the yard for hours like that old, unwanted green toy of Dagny's is the best thing she's ever seen (though she's just about used every last bit of it to pieces). Nixie New writhes with affection and coziness like she never believed she could be so happy! And the chicks - they are always stretching their little necks to see "what's that? where are we? what is the giant unfeathered mother hen bringing us now?" The plants stretch themselves out like there will never be anything to stop them from reaching the sky.
And THEN...the kids! How fun it is to do geometry with Emma...we are finally doing some problem solving and teaching at home that doesn't put a mommy to sleep. She got a bigger girl bike, and now she looks little again (she was looking so gigantic on her first big girl bike). Katie turns 8 on Friday! and we are starting a new adventure together as a Brownie and her Brownie Troop Leader Mommy which I expect to be so fun for us. And, Nathan! He skipped learning how to ride a two-wheeler on his bike (the one that has training wheels we could have removed) and in about 1 day, learned how to ride Emma's now-outgrown bike. I didn't even have time to teach him, to get sore running around the neighborhood hunched over and holding a bike, time to cajole him into trying again...after a few tries with Bill, I "helped" him and I couldn't even keep up (and I know how to run, too!) He was going around the circle into the driveway, off into the street, riding like he was born doing it.
I will admit, that if I mention my pets or my gardening obsession to plenty of moms at the kids' schools I get "that" look - like I am crazy, maybe dirty, and certainly strange. Let's face it, not too many people in this area run out to get 8 chickens or consider it a terrific evening (not to mention it an accomplishment) if she pulls up 700 small buckthorn plants and has a wonderful bonfire.
However, let me just say that if you are in my situation in other ways, it is very liberating to do whatever you need to do to surround yourself with life, love, and your hobbies (life - chickens, love - being around and with my kids so much, and by staying at home, being around my husband so much too, and hobbies - 700 buckthorn in one night means I can plant so many things this spring and summer)! I'm glad I'm beyond worrying about what people think about me! It's so non-traditional, but what a very good life.