90.

I have been thinking about summer.

Not that this is a wrap up of sorts. It ain’t over till it’s over, the first frost which turns the tomato stems slimy in the sun and shadows of the day. Just about how at around this time in years past I have been relieved summer would soon be winding down.

I think most homeschoolers look at summer a little differently. The first thought I have is, No more museums till September! My second is how am I going to keep these folks occupied?!?

This summer has had many lazy days that straggled in to weeks at home and never once did I think there wasn’t enough to do. We didn’t have lessons. I had some big *fun* multiplication table plans that never seemed to be needed to keep us occupied.

Sure, we had a summer camp, an away camp and a few days at a friend’s up north but no vacations or such. We just were. We were here. Hammering nails, pulling weeds, learning how to ride a bicycle, discovering the joy of comic books, having friends sleep over. It’s been great.

I could here stand up on my little soapbox and say it was me, darling that brought this change but it was them. I didn’t think it would happen but inch by inch, day by day they need me less. Or rather, in different ways.

We have had many late night talks that find and leave me exhausted. To be sure my soon to be four year old still likes to use me as a jungle gym but she can be cajoled in to a ripping game of house and can hold her own playing Snakes and Ladders. My baby now has laced shoes that are for running away from me in. This summer has been a freeze frame of what next summer won’t be.

Together.

89.

I have been thinking about Enid Blyton.
You know the outdated English children’s author dating from post World War II? She’s all bumbling policemen and packs of children sleeping out in caves and solving crimes. My son tries to get me to read her every now and then. But Enid Blyton didn’t write for me, she wrote for children. Children in the realm of childhood where differentiation does not yet rear its head. And they make me squirm.

Blytons books have a countryside charm, the kind of provincial that is middlest of classes not unlike Agatha Christie. The plots are tedious and teeth grindingly obvious but what gets me is the ‘chums all together’. Chums eating together, playing together, falling asleep while solving mysteries together.

When we first began down our road with anthroposophy I was dogmatic about personality types. Melancholic, that must be me (nope, at least not right now). Choleric never, only steamrolling jerks are cholerics (pssst I’m a current choleric). I couldn’t see the dimensionality of the human, how we are (or are at our best) when we retain all of the personality types. I also and wait for it, I don’t buy introvert and extroverts as a main character trait. Sorry, everybody I know. I just don’t. I believe in the threads of our personality that are sometimes the warp and others the weft. I believe we are all are both which is why the Enid Blyton books send a shiver up my spine. That dog is everywhere they go, everywhere! Getting poisoned and just missing criminals. LEAVE THAT DOG AT HOME, IT’S A HEADCASE! And those children paling around together every second, I feel claustrophobic just thinking about it.

This is a long rambling way to say I believe is phases, personal epochs if you will. And the only reason I believe in them so wholeheartedly is that I have not only watched my children begin to cycle through them but I have watched my husband go through them too.

My husband is eight years older than me. I am currently going through a phase similar to his when we had first moved to Canada. It’s levelheaded. Mine back then was more of extremes. As in I was going through some serious food stuff, Weston Price style. Let’s be rigid and authoritarian by day and eat dozens of donuts by night because I just couldn’t keep it up. I thought he just didn’t get it, why couldn’t he get on board?  Now I’m thinking, pfft, give it a rest lady!

So try as my son may I will not be reading Enid Blyton on the newly instituted two brothers and mom reading night. Autobiographical graphic novels I can do but that ‘pals all together’ business will have to simmer on the back burner a few epochs or two.

88.

I have been thinking about the rabbit hole of anxiety.

You know, the one that has you twisting the covers in a knot during the quiet of night. I am rarely inflicted with these worries in the daylight. Have I ever told you about how I live with three drummers and that we have a drum kit set up in the basement that gets frequent, rotational use? Well, we do and it’s a great reliever of stress for the folks that PLAY the drums. The listeners, well? That varies.

Anyway. Instead of putting bandages on my anxiety I have been looking for it’s source. The inner meadow of unnecessary terror of the tiny. Like, waking up to a sink of last night’s dinner dishes or piles of paper you have been meaning to go through.

What has always surprised me is that at times these tiny situations don’t bother me at all. Like, at all. 

I look at them and think, Look how happy I am! I don’t have time for such trivialities! But the other times? Yikes. The horror is not mock, it is real. Over-reaction city.

After years of being ruled by the pendulum swing of happiness to anxiety I have figured out what was staring me in the face. The eye I had been avoiding.

Unspoken worries of the past.

They fester and breed in these warrens inside. Never seeing the light of day or working their ways through my voice box. Stress and worry rushing about like a pack of feral bunnies decimating garden beds.

I have decided to stopping up my fears, what people will think of me. It’s boring. So boring to worry about things that don’t matter.

Long held secrets are now finding their way out, rushing through my throat, sprouting wings and coagulating in the skies above.

Sometimes they descend. Mostly on rainy days. I am not equipped to deal with the rain. Midwestern sun blazing on the snowdrifts works best for me. Usually they hang out in the skyline, the one behind me. In the past where they should be. Not hassling me here in the present.

The current worries, they are real. I have five children. I should be worried sometimes. In fact, I would be a little nutty if I wasn’t worried. A healthy dose of worry keeps us out of the thunderstorms and tucked up in bed at a decent hour. But too much worry is weird and it will make my children weird.

So if you hang out with me these days I may be a little confessional.  And the pack of winged bunnies that follow me aren’t a plague upon humanity. It’s just me trying to not be weird.

reading: Runaway Bunny by M. Wise Brown