Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pretty Happy Funny Real at the Lake

This is part of my  Grandpa Bob's space, in the garage, up at the lake. 
 Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life: Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real.
Today's photos are from our little vacation in July at my grandparents' Lake Cabin.  There is some controversy in our family about whether this is really a "cabin".  In our minds, cabins don't have electricity.  But this cabin is not a luxury home, at least!

In the cottage at night.
*Warning! This post contains explicit photos of dead fish.  Don't look if you won't want to see.*

Gibbie, with one of the many fish he caught!  We had fish for breakfast and dinner more than once!

 I am excited planning and launching the kids' lessons for the year.  Things have made a lot more sense since I realized that this is Ezra's kindergarten year.  We were calling last year kindergarten, but he just turned six, and if he were in school, this would have been the year to start the big K.  Physically, emotionally, socially, mentally, I'm quite sure. 
Happy! We discovered our friends have a cabin near by, so we met up in Battle Lake! 
 I've been trying to figure out how people do it, homeschooling.  It seemed so simple until we tried!  It's really crazy.

I have a theory that effective homeschooling families either let the house go to hell, or just have way better homemaking skills than I do!  Maybe some families can function in more chaos than we can?  Or can be joyful and free with way more order and discipline than I can?
Really, I can't, mustn't  relax any more than I am.  We need order to function, and that order, for me, is hard-won.  I seem to just make a mess wherever I go.  Sometimes I feel like Pigpen from Charlie Brown.  I look around me, at the space that started the day Reasonably Tidy, and marvel that I was here while it happened.  I was a part of it.

Happy! Picnics every meal. 
 The atmosphere of our home is so important.  How can one learn but in joy and peace?  But how can one have joy and peace and order with all these children and so much to do?!  I read blogs and books by mothers with many more children than I, trying to level up to the task.
We had banjo music.  And my father.  Happiness.
 I wonder if I have an Idolatry of the Moment that gets in the way.  The desire that every moment be joyful.  A reluctance to insist, for fear of spoiling innocence and curiosity.  In other areas of our life, we have found that insisting and expecting develop good habits, which are the pathway to curiosity and freedom and fulfillment.  But insisting and expecting are hard.  I shirk from fear of being oppressive.
Happy! One fish after another.
 Really, I just want to have fun.  I want to read all day in the hammock with the kids.  I don't want to do phonics and definitely don't want to insist my beautiful children do math lessons and that make them complain at me! Rather I would chuck it all and go to the woods again, or  play Skully in the parking lot for the rest of the afternoon, or make stacks and stacks of pictures. 
Grandma Loretta and Grandpa Bob, sitting and looking out towards the lake. The bestest part about being at the lake is being with Grandma and Grandpa.  (The kids' great-grandparents)
But this year, I am sure that its time for doing the hard daily work.  The mechanical disciplined work of learning tough new skills.  Important skills that will open doors to worlds of enchantment.  We have to do it.  It will be worth it.   

Real: cleaning the fish: skills shared and learned.
But how do we do it?  Can I? Can they? Really, are we capable of this?
Real.  The fish are dazzlingly beautiful, glittering rainbows of sunsets and spots.  Scaling and filleting them is quite real.
Fish Heads, fish heads, roly-poly fish heads.  Eat them up, Yum!

We have but three children, but will they survive intact?  Hopefully we will each come out of this year in one piece, unlike these fish! 

round button chicken


Leila said...

Idolatry of the moment -- I think you put your finger on something there. Verrry interesting...
You are doing wonderfully! So much creativity!
Something that helps me is to simply schedule in an hour of "blitzing" here and there (especially before supper) to restore order.
You'll get the hang of it :)

MamaBear said...

Thank you so much.