D. and the sweet girl are at our church's weekly children's outreach. I'm usually there too, but this evening I stayed home to finish recording my grades and comments for the seminary courses I assisted in this semester (due tomorrow) and to nurse a bad headache.
I've still got a little bit of work to go, but the bulk of it is DONE. I can't tell you how good that feels. This teaching semester has been oddly difficult for me, especially given the fact that I wasn't actually fully teaching a course (for the first time in several years) just assisting in three. It's been a good experience, but it's also felt like a bit of a slog, and I'm too tired right now to figure out why. (And maybe that's part of the answer right there: my sem work, like everything else, has to be put into the context of overall tiredness and stress.)
Before I dive into the last bits that need doing, I thought I'd take a deep breath and enjoy a few minutes to just journal in the quiet of the early evening. It's rare that I have this kind of quiet time and space to myself before late night.
So here goes, a few random musings from a tired but grateful heart.
* I think I'm raising a writer. The sweet girl began keeping a story notebook earlier this year, and lately she's gotten it back out so she can write more stories. That might be a good clue in and of itself, but the real clue that she's got a writer's heart came for me yesterday when she suddenly announced that there was *one certain pen* she had to find so she could write in her story notebook. I mean, the pen she had was all right, she explained quite earnestly, but it was not the pen she really likes to use when she writes stories. "I need my flowy pen," she told me. "The one that writes all smooth and flowy." Speaking as someone who finds all story-writing easier with a fine tipped pen, I can fully empathize. And hallelujah, we found the flowy pen.
* There's a sign taped to our front window. It's addressed to the birds. It's the sweet girl's promise to feed them "breakfast, lunch, and dinner" -- weather permitting. She's stuck to her promise too, and the sparrows, wrens, and starlings have begun to get quite excited when they see her coming. She keeps putting bird seed in her pockets. I foresee plenty of bird seed in our washer/dryer, though I have asked her to remember to check her pockets before she puts her clothes in the hamper.
* We still love picture books. It's been a hard few months for the sweet girl, who has moved into what I guess you'd call "tween territory" with great vigor. Her intensities, her brightness, her energy...blessings...her intensities, her anxieties, her struggles to control her temper...some challenges. All of it comes together in a big package that, some days, feels like more than any of us can unwrap. (So thankful God holds her heart. Mine too.) In the midst of all this, there are moments when she so longs to be "big" and "independent" and moments when she just wants to curl up on my lap again, like she's four. It reminds me of my golden retriever, years ago, when he was just moving out of his puppy stage but would still try to curl up on my lap. Given the sweet girl's huge growth spurt this year, that last is getting more difficult ~ she has really long legs! But one thing we've both realized is how much we miss reading picture books together, so lately we've been making time to do that again. It's been wonderful. I need to get some reviews out, especially of the delightful Emma Dilemma.
* We're loving drawing. One of the best parts of loving picture books is that we no longer just read them together, we pore over them together. And then on Fridays, we draw from them together. This has yielded some surprising creative results for us both in the past few months, which I hope to post about again.
Hmmm...this has turned into very much a parenting/family/homeschooling sort of post, though I had thought I would range further afield on all sorts of topics. I guess my brain just spiraled in one direction. And now I really do need to get back to work. More musings soon!