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7 days until Winter Solstice
11 days until Christmas
18 days until January
28 days until baby’s due date

This was what life was like before any more little ones came.

The mandarin oranges were ripe on the tree. The Boston Ivy was dropping it’s rusty red leaves. The stag and the moon and the lady with cookies were all opened on the advent calendar. And I’ve just made fresh bread with my free bread maker. Phil and I ate slice after slice slathered in butter and dipped in the turkey broth simmering on the stove.

The green corners of our home are shaping up as Phil and I have moved pots here and there, replanted, transplanted, and made way for new plants. We hope to buy a Ginkgo in honor of the new baby. Lee received a navel orange, grapefruit, and strawberry tree. Perhaps the new baby will also get a Hollywood Juniper, but a Ginkgo will be enough. It is a tree that I’ve written into my story. Both Phil and I love it.

The garden against the house is producing lettuce, carrots, beets, arugula, cauliflower, nasturtiums, and slugs. I use the lettuce in salads and turkey sandwiches. I use the slugs to teach Lee how to smash slimy things. He is learning how to find his gnomes every morning, how to smash the curly seed pods off the ornamental pear trees, how to get Daddy to chase him, how to request his sippy cup by touching his nose and making “Shhhh” sounds, how to pull down his own pants. He is refining his skills, catching himself when he falls, lifting and holding, pronouncing words, using the potty sign to postpone bedtime. 

And we are learning too, learning how to pay one another attention in front of him, how to handle a bowl of rice purposefully dumped on the floor, how to hear him without giving in to his every whim. We are counting down with him.

I've been wrapping the Christmas packages one by one. They decorate our home like giant peppermint candies. They contain works of our hands, crafts, time, and thought. There is an art to giving gifts. And the art must be enjoyed by both the giver and the receiver. We will have to wait until Christmas to see what the receivers say, but these days the givers are enjoying getting their hands full of dirt and their hair full of saw dust.


MommaMina said…
Your life makes me smile.
So does your writing.
Come baby 2.
As receivers, we are thrilled at your handiwork. I love my umbrella stroller--can hardly wait to babysit two grandkids!! Dad loves the framed prints & the woodbox & apple wood rounds you crafted. I know Grandpa Stevens will enjoy his empanadas you made with love. Thanks for you love & generosity!

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