Archive | 11:02 pm

Mandalas Bring Peace

6 Jul

The craziness of the day subsided with the gentle scrape-scrape of colored pencils and the quiet interjections by the kids.

Mandala Kids

GoGoGirl: “I have pinks, three pinks, three pink pencils for my flower, three pinkity flowers.”

GoGoGirl's Mandala

KarateKid: “These are crawdads, table-sized crawdads in Japan guarding the most holy yin-yang tablet, they are in an undersea world, they are brave and strong protectors.”

KarateKid's Mandala

Me: “Mmmmm.”

MamaGames's Mandala

Life is good, after all, isn’t it?

A Million Big-and-Little Things

6 Jul

I almost never have a day where the clock hits 4 pm and I really don’t know where the day went.  Usually I’m fully aware of the hours we spent reading books, making paintings, visiting friends or going to a park, doing laundry, running errands, building cities from blocks, playing board games… but today, I can’t really remember anything of substance that I’ve done!

I didn’t sleep well last night – the heat, I think, even though we have an air conditioner in the bedroom window this year.  A migraine hit me in the middle of the day – unusual; most often I wake up with one or develop it late in the evening.  I have been trying to put away the same three loads of laundry all day but mostly have just been moving around piles.  That doesn’t seem to be helping!

Now that I think of it, we did watch a video (Leap Frog Letter Factory, for GoGoGirl) and play some computer games (I bought a subscription to Mathletics for KarateKid since it was on sale through today, and he played Civ IV for a while, narrating it to me).  We played one new board game a couple times (the Lego game Pirate Code) and read a pile of books (ah, Strawberry Shortcake, how you haunt me).  But is that really a whole day?  Is it really after 4 o’clock already?

Too many thoughts rattling around in my head: a million big-and-little things.  Maybe if I get some of them off my chest and flush them out into cyberspace my mind will rest easy.  (It’s the oxytocin that will help! I know you’re listening to me!)

- Mortality.  My uncle passed away unexpectedly last week after a nasty fall.  We weren’t close – he lived on the other coast, and so we mostly saw him at weddings and funerals – but it was still a shock.  His wife was my mom’s only sister, and the reverberations through our family brought back to me how much I still miss Mom.

- Babies.  Early last week I had my own private meltdown at the thought of packing away my favorite-ever pair of baby overalls, which had somehow missed the earlier packing-up of the baby clothes.  Then on Sunday I held the sweetest little 5 week old boy.  My heart is big enough for more children in this family; my house, my savings account, and my crazy-mixed-up body are ganging up to overrule my heart.  Still… I spent a long time today gazing adoringly at the children pictured on one agency’s Rwanda program.  Oh, money fairy, where are you?

- A sense of place.  We’re enjoying this summer – well, maybe not quite as much since the current extra-hot heat wave, but that will pass – and loving the friends we have around us and the places we have to explore here.  Funny how last fall we were heartbroken at the thought of losing our favorite place to spend the summer weekends… and that now, we haven’t even considered making the drive once all summer.  It’s a beautiful place up there, but the ridiculous family dramas are not worth it.  We’d rather spend our time with the people who really know and love our kids, and we’ve been thinking and talking about that a lot this week.

- All the little frustrations.  Things like: the belt breaking on the vacuum halfway through the living room last night, and then I take the bottom apart to put in the new belt that I know I have in the closet, only to tear apart two closets and not find a replacement belt – or the extra bags, which is what convinces me that some imp somewhere has made off with all my vacuum supplies just to keep me on my toes – and then I can’t snap the bottom back on to let the machine just sit to wait for a belt so I stomp out of the living room, leaving behind a pulled-apart, tipped-over, leaking-dust vacuum lying in the middle of the carpet.  You see why I feel like household chores are futile?   The room looked so much better before I tried to make an effort!

Is it any wonder my aching head is all a-swirl?  I’m sure tomorrow will be better.

My sister let me know that today is the Dalai Lama’s 75th birthday.  Maybe we’ll end this long, hot day with some mandala coloring books and colored pencils.  Coloring is so soothing for me that I used to have a drawer of coloring books in college to color between bouts of studying!  It anchors my mind in the present… and I could use a little of that right now!