this is honestly my idea of a vacation: you go to a beach. you sit on the beach. you read a book. that's it. that's all i need.
in mexico, in addition to that, we had the perks of comfortable chairs and sun umbrellas and people bringing us fresh limondas and "coca lights." we had big plans to go parasailing this day, but once we realized we'd have to actually stand up, we opted to stay put and read some more.
after awhile we ordered lunch: tiritas, followed by garlic shrimp, fresh guacamole, fresh salsa, beans, cheese, lots and lots of lime wedges, and more limonda.
[i'm not generally a sunglass wearer, but i think these ones are okay. are they okay?]
[there's no one i'd rather read books with on the beach. or anywhere for that matter.]
I was asked (or did I volunteer?) to do the script for a church Christmas activity for the Relief Society (the women's organization). I thought and thought, and couldn't get the idea out of my head that I was to ask women I know about their experiences with birth and family, that the words I would get would illuminate the spirit of Christmas in a way I needed to learn, and ultimately share.
Writing it wasn't exactly as neat and tidy a process as I had hoped/planned. Firstly, every single email I got back on my request made me weep. Seriously. Every.Single.One. And not just because just about everything baby-related tugs on my sad little heart lately. But also, and mostly, because they were all so deeply, astonishingly beautiful to me. I could have never guessed what a flood of beauty and spiritual reality I was opening gates for. I think God wanted that flood for me. But there was nearly a week where I was just sort of swimming in these words, riding them up and d…
Last night, as Sam and I put Henrietta to bed, I noticed a pair of silky, light-purple pajama pants on Henrietta's floor. They were handmedowns from cousins, which I had sorted out of her dresser the other day because the elastic waist was shot, and I thought, picking them up to find a place for them, "I should just throw these out."
And my next thought, sponsored by the mean, Pinterest-saturated voice in my head was, "Throw them out?! Are you kidding me? How shamefully wasteful. You really ought to turn them into a pretty little purse for her. Yes, yes, that's it, sew the fabric into a pretty little purse. She'll love it forever. You say you don't have time? Absurd. Sewing them into a purse is really the proper use of resources and time. Just make time for it. It's important. You have to. It won't take long. If you care at all about Henrietta and your finances, you'll do it."
That voice in my head says stuff like this to me all day. A…
I once told a woman I didn't know all that well that I was "trying" to do something. She immediately said, "You're trying, you're lying." And the rhyme was so catchy and she seemed so sure of this truth, that I thought she must be right, even as I hated her for saying it.
But motherhood has changed my sense of "trying," and now I feel sure that this woman was wrong. To me, trying--especially when divorced from concern of outcome--is a noble art. And the most difficult and important one I practice as the mother to Henrietta. For Henrietta and I, it doesn't work to force it, and it doesn't work to give up entirely. It only works to come at it from somewhere in the middle, to approach it as gently as possible, as unemotionally as possible, yet still with a great deal of persistence.
Here's what I mean: Henrietta is not, sadly for me, an eat-everything-on-her-plate kind of girl. She's picky, and it seemed for awhile she was gettin…