living slow

Posted on March 9th, 2013 by mountain girl  |  9 Comments »

There’s a rhythm to our days here–simple but full.  Having kids has slowed me way down. Before my babies came, I rarely sat down during the day, ever, except for meals.  There was very little rhythm to my life; it was lived on the fly.  If I felt like jumping in the car and going shopping, I did.  If I felt like working on a painting all night, I did.

{Little blue heart courtesy of Zia}

Now I sit so much it makes me laugh.  In the rocking chair, on the floor, on piles of pillows. Babies don’t come up to your level, you have to go down, slow down, to theirs.  Sometimes I feel I’ve traded my life for theirs, and for a time, I have.  And so did my mother, and my grandmother.  Our fathers did too, in a different (but every bit as sacrificial) way.  It’s a good, right thing.

{That’s me, Mother Owl, flying above Pippi and Chub, the baby owls.  That’s just the way it is around here.}

My life has slowed down out of necessity, but I’ve chosen slowness for my kids, on purpose.

On Mondays, Zia goes to the local nature school for an hour and a half, while Cash and I hang out at the library.  She has an hour-long dance class on Wednesdays, and some days she has a play date with a friend.

Besides that, we’re mostly home during the week.  We do our chores, Zia and I, in the morning and afternoon.  When she checks off her list (brush teeth, wash face, make bed, etc.), we put on a National Geographic movie or some other documentary. It’s kind of the reward for her suffering, LOL. She likes to moan a little through her chores, but I hold her to them.  I do cheat and help her clean her room and straighten the big blankets.

A good part of our day is spent reading and making up stories to tell each other, and we usually fit in some homeschool each day.  At some point she disappears for a while to have some wildly imaginative playtime on her own.  A corner of my room has lately become her “house”, and the one-sided conversations that drift out of there are borderline hilarious.

I get artwork or a handmade item for a present at least once a day, like this yurt, or the bracelet in the top photo.  We make things together, too–homemade body or baby products, collages and other projects, meals and desserts, and her favorite thing–pancakes.  Every couple of weeks, Zia and Caleb make our laundry soap together.

I wondered about living this way at first, especially in that pressing time just before kindergarten.  Wondered if she needed to go to school, to be out every day, to have more stimulation.  But there is no less stimulation here than out there, just a different kind. The kind that for her is better, I think, and less stressful.

There is something good about having a slow, simple childhood.  Going at your own pace, learning when you are ready, and choosing whether to be with others or by yourself.

Caleb, who will be thirteen this May, does go to the local middle school.  His life has been simplified too, since he’s come to live with us.   He chops and stacks wood, plays with Zia, and reads constantly.  He has adjusted pretty well to our life without TV and video games.  He cooks his own breakfast, packs his own lunch, and is responsible to keep his room neat.  He has close friends his age for the first time, and has become a kind and helpful big brother to both Zia and Cash.

In the simplicity of being home, we’ve found a fullness that we would miss in the scurry of a busier life.  We get to really know each other–and ourselves–to learn to live together, and to choose what to do each day.  The days when we are out and about are special times to look forward to, but we always look forward to coming home again, to slowing down

and just being who we are, together.

{Thanks, Pom-Pom, for those fun hats!}

9 Responses to “living slow”

  1. jodi inkenbrandt says on :

    Mia, this post was exactly what I needed to read. I guess just to be reminded of the rich goodness, because sometimes I need to be reminded. Although our lives differ in a few ways, I can relate to that slowness, the need, but also the desire, to slow life down and really just “be” together. It’s deeply good.

  2. mountain girl says on :

    I’m glad this struck a chord with you! I was thinking of you while I wrote, knowing you would totally get this.

  3. Melissa says on :

    I tried to do a slow life of a working mom. I made sure the kids had activities, but I also didn’t push them into every activity out there. I hear about kids that have a different activity every day…what ever happened to playing outside and using one’s imagination? I know that they appreciate it now because they got to be kids. Yours will feel the same way when they are old enough to appreciate it.

  4. mom & dad says on :

    dear lil Zia: you making enchiladas was so yummy looking; we HAD to make some; they were very yummy 🙂 we LOVE u lots!! Grandma 🙂

  5. Mimi says on :

    Love the pics and the the narration of your daily life…a good life….kids complete the picture, that’s for, and it comes with it’s own challenges! But that’s what life is made of. Thank God for energy during childbearing years!!! Love, Mimi

  6. Seth says on :

    Or maybe you’re just getting old! ;););)

  7. mountain girl says on :

    Speak for yourself!

  8. Tiffany says on :

    Beautiful post.

  9. GRANNY says on :