the dandy dandelions are baaaaack and we are celebrating them! i cannot help but smile looking at dandelions. i have a rich history with them. i suppose many moms do.
so, for many reasons – the bees included – we won’t be quiiiite as obsessive about ridding our lawn of them. not to mention, they are stubborn and will likely return despite any attempts to mitigate them. i have found taproots of great length underground – dandelions aspiring to be large carrots, channeling the subterranean tenacity of root vegetables.
but – in the end – even with this year’s gargantuan effort to have nice grass and earn the respect of the GrassKing, we need our pollinators and we need flowers for tiny toddlers to pick. so, we will dial it back a little bit on total eradication and live in the memories of fists full of dandelions.
in the late afternoon, the sun streams in the west windows and lights up the sitting room. it is the coziest of cozy rooms with the comfiest old slipcovered couch, smushy fur throw pillows, sherpa blanket. good lamps, happy lights and no television make it the perfect place to share time with a book. we love sitting there.
the sitting room had history as a cozy room. many years ago it was the only room in the house with a tv. when my children were little-little they watched mr. rogers and thomas-the-tank-engine and sesame street in there. my son lined up matchbox cars on the rug and my daughter sang and danced with barney and the gang. the little mermaid and the lion king and sing-along songs were on regular line-up. a small room, it was a hub of activity for small babies and toddlers. we danced for hours to the grapevine song and woke up the household on saturday mornings to brother band’s bagpipes.
the giant tv went to the curb and someone picked it up with a wagon and toted it away. the camelback rolled-arm loveseat, much worse for wear, took its own turn at the curb and the old couch from the living room donned a slipcover and – with great effort by my son and me – made its way into the cattycorner.
then, there was a period of time it was a little bit ignored. more of a pass-through than a room, it begged attention, some of our time.
and now, the rickety old farm table is next to the couch and holds an antique clock that magically stopped at 11:11, some dried flowers and charlie – the heart-shaped philodendron who clearly loves being the star of the room. beautiful paintings and an old screen door. and the sunlight greets us every afternoon and each time we walk from the hall into the bedroom or vice-versa.
it is easy to sink down into the couch and close one’s eyes. we know this from experience. it’s a really good nap couch. i wonder how it would have been for two toddlers on the move. i suspect it would have been a good addition back then. funny how cozy takes over somewhere along the way.
loveseats are good – and quite lovely. but couches – the kind you can sink down into – read a book together on opposite ends leaning back on fuzzy overstuffs, under a blanket – are better. looking back i can see that now. smushy > camelback. this would have been a better couch back then. hindsight. sigh.
lounging on the sofa the other day i closed my eyes, but not in sleep. for a moment, i could hear the tiny voices of my children – decades ago – as they played on the rug and sang along, “it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…”, “under the sea”, “i love you. you love me”, “colors of the wind”. wistful moments. time flies by. our home holds us, ever-watchful.
i looked at the changes of the sitting room. a serene spot in the house, a place to think back and re-relish earlier times. times of barbies and baby dolls, stacks of books, matchbox cars and balls of every sport. growing children, dogs, a cat. it was a hub back then. it’s a different kind of hub now. and i’m eternally grateful for both.
“my do!!!!” he insisted. there is nothing like a two-year old insisting – with all his might – that he will do it himself. he is extremely capable – strong, smart, wily. somehow you forget how much energy a tiny child has…it just goes on and on and on until it suddenly stops and sweet sleep takes over. amazing stuff. my little great-nephew’s curiosity is divine and his giggle contagious. his stubbornness makes me laugh, but mostly because i can stand back and watch his momma and daddy handle it. their turn. and i am thrilled for them.
even though he was figuring out how to climb the jungle gym in the playground, we were there to spot him. as he learned, our hands were firm, guiding him. as he figured it out, our hands were lighter, still there, but just poised and ready. much like all of parenthood, i’m figuring out. you hold on tightly, then just firmly, then lightly, then you let go, but you are poised and ready. and, just like j, they don’t turn around to see if you are there. they just keep climbing the jungle gym steps, anxious to get to the slide, anxious to explore the rest, anxious to play with the other kids. you are simply the spotter. somewhat invisible but always there.
at the end of the days there – with this marvelous two year old – we were really tired. his spurty focus of energy staccatoed our day as well and, now that my own children are grown-up adults, was something not as familiar to us. our days are more linear with less punctuation, if you will.
but i laid awake at night anyway. i rambled through thoughts of the days when my daughter and my son were little ones with “i do” on their lips. it brought me to places i remembered clearly and places that had slipped into corners of my memory. i missed them and wished that thirty years ago cellphones had had cameras and the ability to make videos. carrying around the 35mm camera and the vhs/8mm videocameras was cumbersome; today’s parents have so many ways to remember every single thing that happens.
my niece and i talked about how motherhood has changed everything. and i told her that will never change.
she will always – now – wake thinking about this little person. and she will always – now – go to sleep with him on the blink of her eyes. she will hold tightly and then firmly and then lightly and then – in achingly beautiful and hard moments – she will let go.
but she will always be his spotter, visible or invisible, noticed or not. he may not turn around to see her there, but she’ll be there.
i’m thinking this is just a fancy term for procrastination? you know, those moments when you have a list-of-things-to-do and you do something NOT on the list. to be honest, i ALWAYS add the things i ended up doing TO the list so that i can cross them off. there is something i find so very satisfying about crossing things off. even if i haven’t gotten to the crux of what i need to get done.
d says that i work in a circular manner. i suppose he’s right. but i swear it’s a woman-thing. we are spinning many plates at the same time, keeping them all in the air, and, although everything will eventually get done, we move from one thing to the next and then circle back. i know very few gals who – in an OCD kind of way – stay cemented to one task until its completion without punctuating it with others.
when The Girl and The Boy were little i was constantly moving from writing at the piano to reading books aloud to playing with matchbox cars to making business calls and back to the piano….many layers all at once. i remember having a phone conversation with one of the VPs of barnes and noble when they were placing one of my albums on the listening station wall. in the middle of this phone call, you could hear one of my children in toddlerhood – i will not mention which one – in the background, beckoning me from the bathroom, yelling, “i finished! i pooped!” the VP heard it too and he was gracious enough to tell me he would hold on. it’s a mom thing, right? those spinning plates.
we work differently, d and me. we are both productive, but i’m guessing he would oft label me productively avoidant. eh. he just doesn’t see how i accomplish that ever-growing-ever-crossed-off list in my head (or on paper, for that matter.) it’s amazing what i can accomplish when i am “supposed” to be accomplishing something else. i know you know what i mean! #allwillgetdone #whatdoesitallmeananyway?
when i saw aly a few weeks ago she was holding her sweet baby boy landon in her arms and she told me that every night he goes to sleep with this album playing. ian joked that landon doesn’t make it much past the first three pieces, so maybe they should start it in the middle so they would be able to hear more of it. either way, hearing snippets or the whole hour of lullabies, i am touched that this little boy is gently going off to sleep with this music playing him into dreams.
i recorded this album after many others. i had already recorded six original cds, three christmas albums, two retro 60s/70s albums, two hymn albums and several singles by this point. but many of the shops stocking my albums and listeners who had purchased albums asked me about a lullaby album. it was with the picture in my heart of rocking (or walking) my own children to sleep that i researched lullabies, wrote a couple original pieces and spent time in the studio at yamaha artist services in nyc recording this.
some of my most precious memories are of My Girl or My Boy drifting off to sleep as i sat in the rocking chair in the nursery watching the seasons change out the window. i would read goodnight moon and sing quietly to them. then i would tiptoe out of the room, careful to avoid the spots in the old wood floor that would creak under my steps.
and so, it is an amazing thing knowing that there are moms and dads out there in the world, rocking tenderly or softly slipping out of their nursery with my album AND GOODNIGHT playing their cherished baby into sweet sleep.
download the album AND GOODNIGHT on iTUNES or CDBaby for your nursery iPOD