I'm not sure what's up with me. I've been receiving emails and other inquiries about why I'm not blogging much (or at all!) these days...and I'm not really sure what the answer is. I'm fine, though...no worries necessary...though I appreciate the concern. Matt and I were down and out for a couple of days with some kind of illness a few weeks ago, but it was fairly short-lived and we're all fine at the moment. Geoff's been working up a storm over the past few weeks, which has upped my evening and weekend responsibilities a bit. But we're good.
I've enjoyed the blogging hiatus, to be honest. There's been a definite correlation, since Christmas, between the low number of blog posts that I've written and my greater general state of my relaxation. I've felt a little less pressure as a result of not putting pen to paper. I contemplated again (as I did a few months ago) whether or not I should simply discontinue my blog, knowing that it, too, takes work and upkeep, and thinking that it seems that there's not quite as much interest in it as there used to be and certainly fewer comments than in the past. But the truth is that I've never written my blog because of the level of interest in it...it's been something of me here...an interest that finds no small degree of fulfillment in the writing of this blog.
I've noticed another correlation in the past number of weeks: The more I've simply relaxed with the kids (reading, cooking, drinking tea, doing chores together at a slow pace and generally enjoying life), the more relaxed the kids have been. It's been good. We've been having fun together, just being. It's amazing how much conversation is to be had while sitting around the table with the kids over a cup or two of Ethiopian tea or a mug of hot chocolate and feeling no obligation to any agenda; and this from a family that tends to be verbal and highly conversational already. We've played games, done our usual extra curricular activities, read books, read more books, had great visits with friends, watched episodes of Different Strokes, Amazing Race Canada, and The Cosby Show and cuddled under blankets while talking about Canadian geography and mammals and how light works.
This whole unschooling thing is proving great for my kids thus far. Although they still bicker like old married couples at times, and although they still fight like animals on a regular basis, they're actually getting along more often than not, and are playing together for long periods of time...even my oldest and my youngest! On Monday, all three played in the basement without incident for over two hours! Last week, Matthew told Lizzie that she was a "sweet flower of kindness" (words that, frankly, would not have occurred to me about my little firecracker of a daughter and which I never thought I'd hear out of his mouth either!) and today I overheard Matthew and Lizzie saying that they loved each other. Huh? And even in these bitterly cold days of winter (many of which have granted us the dubious honour of being labelled the coldest place on earth!), the kids have bundled up (including wearing their downhill ski goggles to keep their eye areas warm!) and have played outside for hours at a time - shovelling the driveway, building forts, constructing toboggan runs, and inventing games. Happy.
And in the evenings, after the kids have fallen asleep and as Geoff has continued to work his way through his busy season at work, I've taken the time to make myself a cup of spiced tea and relax with Netflix or a good book. Of course, these relaxing evenings have not helped the general state of our household cleanliness, but they sure have helped me feel like this crazy life is a little more balanced.
Anyway, I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. But in this moment, with tea at hand, I think I'm going to watch a little Call the Midwife on Netflix.