Thursday, February 25, 2010

One long exhale

In Waldorf pedagogy they place an important emphasis on in-breath and out-breath in the rhythm of the day. This is a practice I love. Practicing a balance of work, learning, creativity, play, rest, etc. helps us to avoid stress and being bogged down. Echoing the rhythm of the earth (seasons, day to night, etc.) our family flourishes best when Jeremy and I hold these basic, though flexible, daily beats. It also keeps us a little more sane.

This is so not happening right now and I really, really miss it. I keep telling myself that this is another part of the rhythm of our life and I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it is. But it feels rather like chaos. Coming off months of being sick and struggling to keep food in, I haven't found the rhythm of preparing meals and having anything ready for meal time, in fact, I'm out of touch as to when meal time is! PB&J to the rescue. That wouldn't be so bad except my kids survived the last 10 months on the same category of food broken only when Jeremy found the time in split seconds between his job, helping to home school, and taking care of me to fit in grocery shopping and cooking. I know things will improve as I recover and we all adjust to the new person in our family. Right after the birth we had 4 blissful weeks of meals being brought to us by friends from church and our homeschool programs, this lifesaver insured that our dear children didn’t really eat PB&J for every meal. Another week my mom was here and cooked , ensuring PB&J wasn't the only option available. I'm starting to find my groove with meals though I have a long way to go, I struggle to even remember what some of our favorite foods are.

School, household care and just general life has suffered as well. Out of desperation for reclaiming control it is tempting to create a strict schedule that we all follow religiously but that would be just as oppressive for me. Routines and rhythms I can do, schedules stress me out. Valuing creativity, flexibility and creativity as I do anything more than a fluid rhythm to our day stifles me and brings out the control monster within me. We have been surviving for a long time now on the very bare bones of a basic routine.

Eight weeks after adding a new person to our family, eight weeks after shedding the regular nausea, vomiting and fatigue of an hyperemesis gravidarum pregnancy I'm trying to find our rhythm. The song is different now, we've added an infant, a whole other person and we have a toddler that is adjusting to no longer being the baby. We all are adjusting. Instead of putting us on a controlled schedule I decided in a stressful moment to bring back something that used to be a regular part of our day: circle time. Though I had planned on getting us going earlier in the morning and circle time being the start of a grand school day I had also planned on getting significantly more sleep than I did thanks to a sick toddler and a newborn nursing every two hours and immediately rolled with my desire to be flexible by sleeping in until 9.30. By the time everything was taken care of it was much later than I had intended when we got to circle time. We didn't fill our circle time with too much, just a poem, a little flute playing, singing some songs, swinging on the swing, laying back and looking up at the sky, noticing the new leaves starting on our Ash tree, spotted a few bird nests, talking about whatever and reading a fairy tale. It was peaceful. It was simple. It was refreshing. We were together and we just soaked in the togetherness and peace. I don't know what our new rhythm is really going to look like but I'm looking forward to seeing it shape up and holding that for our family again. I do know that this time today will be a regular part of it and of high value. The months of the pregnancy were valuable and precious. The 8 weeks since Cosette's birth were neccessary and special. I wouldn't trade any of it. In some ways it has been a huge in-breath at the same time as being an out-breath. Change can be that way. Today we had one long exhale and look forward to breathing in rhythm together again.

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