In the past weeks, significant milestones have been reached. We celebrated Jude's fifth birthday which was simple, as is suited to my very sensitive boy. Grandma Jude and aunt Tashy came to join in and share the gluten-free cupcakes he made himself. It was a happy day (: The age of five is a heartbreaking one for a mama, as the child is little still, yes, but starting to lengthen and lose any last traces of chubby baby-ness.
And very notable was Isabella's graduation from eighth grade!
She is going to high school next year, geez louise, and I feel like I am entirely NOT ready for this stage of development! Where did that sweet pink-cheeked, goofy little cherub of a girl go? The one I wuld read 40 books to in one sitting (really!), the one I played dolls with, and drew pictures of fairies and bunnies and her favourite doll doing fantastical things? The mama gig is tough. I cry a lot, if only inside, mostly at the fleeting quality if innocence and the rapid pace at which your children cling to you and then gently start to turn away, finding their own path, edging their way out into the wide, wide world.
Besides these singular events, daily rhythms remain the same. Feed the lambs and chickens in the morning, let the sheep and goat out to graze, collect eggs, wash eggs, sweep the floor, cook and clean and walk outside with the sheep while the boys play in the long meadow-grass. Lots of crazy, wild, loud play, exploring outside and creativity at the kitchen table. Jason tends the gardens and I tend the animals. I make iced tea and sweeten it with his amazing maple syrup.
On Sunday afternoon I visited the grandmother of Isabella's friend. I had never met this woman before, but the stories and descriptions of her by her granddaughter had gotten me curious, so I called her up and she warmly invited me to her place. We shared a great deal in common, including a love of sheep, natural living and a back-to-basics lifestyle. She was making cheese when we first arrived, carefully arranging bricks in a cast iron pot precariously perched on the cheese to press it. She has 30 or so sheep which she raises for fleece, milk and meat, numerous gardens and a few mulberry trees, a gorgeous white horse and an adorable old farmhouse filled with antique and creative treasures including an old wood-fired cook stove, large loom and a spinning wheel. Needless to say, I felt joyous to connect with this lovely woman clad in overalls and filled with wisdom. She gave me my very first spinning lesson on her wheel and it was so much harder than I imagined but also what I expected, but I am hungry to keep working at it and now that I have my own spinning wheel, I can!
Isabella came with me that day, just us girls. It was a perfect afternoon spent, and driving home I spotted a pioneer cemetery so I pulled over to read the gravestones of those hardworking people who lived so long ago; One was dated back to the 1700's and I thought it amazing that I could still read the etched numbers after so may centuries of wear and weather. I do love history.
And with that, I have a feeling Ollie needs a diaper change, and as it is raining (thank you, clouds!) I suppose it is a perfect day for some book reading and drawing with the boys (: