Not writing. Sorting buttons.








Late last week I started to find my groove with my book-writing.

I had finally nailed the structure and bones of my work, something I had been juggling for months.

(Okay. Years.)

But I got it! I finally found a way to organize my thoughts and share what I have to share.

I was stoked.

So on Saturday I snuck into my writing studio/craft room to carve out a little writing time. I was ready to get to work.

And just then a small, seven-year old girl appeared in the doorway. Not missing a beat she bounded into the room and announced, "Mama, let's sort buttons together! Wouldn't that be fun?"

And I paused.

And I took a breath.

And I looked at the outline laid out before me and thought about the writing I wanted to do.

The words "presence and distraction," "play" and "connection" leaped off the page.

Yes. That. The very stuff of what I was writing was dancing into my experience to ask me how serious I was.

Was I serious?

And if so, about living it or writing about it? 


I closed my computer.


"Yes, baby. Sorting buttons together would be so fun. There is nothing I'd rather do right now that this with you."

I meant it.


It was Saturday. It was time to sort buttons.

It was time to close the computer. There would be time to write later on.

I hugged her, kissed her head, and we set to work.


Later that night as we sat down to dinner we shared the sweet spot of our day, as we often do.

My sweet spot?

Yes. Of course it was.

And yes, it was Lupine's too.

Sorting buttons.

Something I would have missed if I'd hurried along toward my own destination.

On my adult agenda.

And while I'll have many more opportunities to write, I'm not sure how many more Saturdays I'll get to spend sorting buttons with my girl.

Sorting buttons, it turns out, was the most important work before me.

This I know is true.



8 thoughts on “Not writing. Sorting buttons.

  1. Karen C says:

    I still remember sorting through my grandmother’s buttons with my then four-year-old son – he’s ten now. Precious. I do hope you managed some writing time – as a writer, I know how hard it is to finally find and feel that flow, and then watch it evaporate through other responsibilities!

  2. Katie @ Life With The Crew says:

    That is a sweet spot and I remind myself of similar sweet spots on a daily basis. When my hands are dripping wet trying to tackle the mountain of dishes that somehow ALWAYS appears between the time I clean the night before and when my husband leaves the house in the morning (do you know how much mess one man can make making ONE cup of coffee in a stove top coffee maker?!), my little babe waddles over with her board book and holds it up excitedly, yes, I wipe my hands and say “Go sit on the sofa, I’ll be right there.” That is why I am a stay-a-home mom. So that my work can consist of playing blocks, reading books, looking at the squirrels, and hopefully getting this child started on the right path in life.

  3. Kris says:

    I love those sweet spots – particularly when I share in your wisdom of when to tune into and welcome them. Usually they involve cuddles, puzzles, stories, play cars, and drawing pictures for the four year old to colour.

    Very much looking forward to your book – I always welcome an infusion of inspiration for play and connection!

  4. Marie says:

    Ah, this lesson. I learn it again and again, and still it is an exercise of will every time — sometimes with a wee bit of inner frustration or even panic, but then a deep knowing and sinking into the place of being with my little love. Your words resonate so deeply. As to the lovely jars of buttons. Some like my Nana’s old cigar boxes, some like the tea can from my mother, some in the small flat file drawers that used to hold my father’s manuscripts. Time spent sorting buttons with my little…so precious. Thanks as always for the connection.

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