It's a wild mix over here. One part searingly hard work, one part exhale as we put aside summer's endless projects and sit down for the first time since spring. One moment it's a full-tilt run and then the next moment December's quiet beauty will stop you in your tracks like you have nowhere more important to be than here.
This month is among the busiest of the year for my family.
Owning a small business, our financial survival depends on how well we market and manage our business at this time of year. It's a critical, nose-to-the-grindstone time for us. Owning a small farm, our animals' survival depends upon how well we do our job hauling pails of warm water and bales of hay around the farm. The mornings are full as we scurry back and fort between the barn, the pasture, and whatever water spigots aren't frozen solid.
And being a hands-on-project-based family, there are even more DIYs in the works than usual as we move into the gift-giving season and our Winter Solstice and Christmas celebrations. (At last count I am staring down five knitting projects, three sewing projects, and three kitchen projects my own holiday to-do list, plus the kids' countless projects for friends near and far and the magic Pete is cooking up in the woodshop.)
And then last weekend I got a wild hair to completely gut and paint our living room and rearrange the house. Which – one week in – is far from completed. (What was I thinking?!)
The upshot is there's a lot going on in these 1200 square feet this season.
And then yesterday – somehow – I stopped.
I put the rushing about aside and rearranged my schedule so that I could spend an entire day with Sage. It's been a long time since we've had space to just be together – alone – and I appreciated the day so much.
I felt like we needed that more than we needed another busy day ticking projects off our list. We might have to work extra hard this weekend to catch up, but it was worth it.
Because thirteen is different. We're all learning how to navigate new needs and new dynamics. And taking time to take my kid out for lunch and then out for coffee in the city? Well, it was downright perfect. (And we couldn't resist a stop at the chocolatier, because, fancy chocolate is our universal language.)
On the way home he suggested we stretch our time out with a walk in a favorite park, and I jumped at the chance, marveling all the while at how fast time is moving these days. And marveling at all that has happened between our cosleeping/baby sling days and today.
I have friends who are struggling with first foods and teething, and friends trying to hold onto their hearts as their babies go off college and off to war. It's difficult to grasp all that unfolds between birth and taillights. And I suppose I'm here, just finding my feet again somewhere in the middle.
Thirteen. When everything shifts again. I read this post again last week and recommitted myself to connection before correction, to being his safe place, to reaching for understanding instead of judgement. It's important. I don't want to lose my way.
And I'm thankful to have made time to just be together, without an agenda. Without hurrying through.
No matter what else is on my list to get done before the month is up.