I originally titled this post Green! and was going to write about the shift in season we've just had here with swaths of green wrapping around us in near claustrophobic closeness. About the absolute contrast of June and January in Maine. But I'll let the pictures share that story through a recent walk through the woods to the neighbors field.
I'll tell another story. I spent the day with a friend yesterday, the mom of two young children and we shared a lot about the hardships of parenting, societal views of mothers, homeschooling, money--it was not light conversation. At some point she mentioned the need for more "real" stories of mothering. The ones where its all laid out there. Where no one walks away judging themselves against another's perceived perfect life.
I don't consider this space, on my blog, the place for lamenting the bad stuff. I choose to document the times I want to focus on and remember. I believe our lives are very much made of the stories we tell ourselves, and I want mine to be a good one. I don't want to dwell on the faults, or publicize my weakness. I believe the "I'm a worse mom than you" Facebook posts can be just as damaging as their perfect counterparts. Even so, a bit of reality is necessary. No one's life is perfect, and one lovely walk in the woods is just that-- it doesn't tell of the 9 other hours in the day.
So today, a bit of the hard stuff (only the pictures are pretty)...
We just finished a stint of two weeks without a working leech field. Two weeks of peeing outside, washing dishes in the shower outside, two weeks where we had very few flushes allotted to us (lest the tank fill and back up into our house), did only one load of laundry, and spit into bowls while brushing our teeth.
Then they installed a 15 foot tall! vent in our yard, filled the sand back in, and said, "It might work for another 7 years, or you might need a whole new system. Let's wait and see".
Its been two weeks since then, and I'm sure we won't know if its really working for another year or two. What's definitely not working now, is the washing machine. Take a minute to image what it might be like to open a front loader with 8 inches of water that won't drain. Right. Now imagine that water is soaked with a week's worth of dirty running clothes, 10-year-old boy underwear, and a sleeping bag that was peed on the night before. Yup. Imagine hauling said smelly, nasty, sopping, laundry across the bathroom and dumping it in the bathtub to drain for the night. Yup. It took three towels to wipe up the mess. Two days for the smell to dissipate, 1 day for the repair guy to come, not sure when the part will arrive.
I forgot that my 4-year-old asked me to wipe his bum, and left him sitting on the toilet crying for 15 minutes while I weeded the garden.
My big boy had rocks thrown at him at recess--and I'm pretty sure he deserved it.
The lawn mower won't run.
Most days I yell at my kids. Many days I swear in front of them (almost never at them).
I haven't thrown a book in three years, but I have wanted to many, many more times since then.
My 4-year-old sings rap songs about "Call of Duty" (though no one here has ever played the game), and educates his friends about AK's, snipers, and missile launchers.
The renters in our cabin are complaining of ants. Lots of ants.
And their pipes are leaking. Still.
We waited 15 minutes in the 85 degree sun, without shade, for ice cream. Kale's came on a blue cone, with blue candy on top. Two days later his poop is still blue.
I wasn't sure if I should feed the pigs crappy left over pizza from the corner store, because it might not be good for them. Then I realized I'd just served it to my kids.
The kids were nervous about a garter snake in the driveway. "Don't be scared," I told them, those won't hurt you. You can even catch it."
When Juniper leaned in for a closer look it reared up and struck at her.
It was a lovely walk.