Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Home Days

This morning it is early, and I am up before the sun. The colours in the sky outside are all pinks and pale blues and purples, and it is beautiful. I've already been up, when the full moon was still casting it's glow across our fields and I was trying not to look, trying to concentrate on getting Will's bottle and getting back to bed and back to sleep. He succeeded, but not I. I have been lying awake, the last of the moon's glow shining on my feet; the light slowly changing from moonlight to dawn light.

I have been chewing over thoughts.

Home Days.

"Mama, is today a home day?" asked a little one yesterday morning. "Yes," I replied. "Nowhere to go today my darling, just home". "Hooray!!" come the chorus of replies. "Did you hear?! It's a home day! A home day!!" Yes, truly. My children rejoice when they discover we have a long, full day ahead of us ....... at home.

This should not be too surprising. For I too love and adore these home days. And I am their mother, and they have my genetics and clearly spend a lot of time in my company. :)

There are days for outings, yes. The groceries need to be gathered for the week. Library books too. And there are friends to visit. And dance lessons to attend. Parks to explore.

But in our family, it is the home days which are treasured most of all. They are slower, more leisurely. There is no rushing. Activities can be brought out, and they can stay out for hours without being packed away. The children have their lessons to do, and I have my chores, but then there is always time. Time. How I love free time!! An excerpt from the book I finished last week:

"Perhaps we adults have lost the fine art of lollygagging but at least most of us mastered it as children. We knew what it was to be bored and to find something on our own to do; we knew what loneliness felt like; and we discovered that there was value in being alone sometimes. Left to our own amusements, we found resources that we didn't know we had. We learned, as Wordsworth wrote, to see through "that inward eye that is the bliss of solitude." These were valuable lessons - and I fear that our own busy, well-entertained children may not ever have the chance to learn them. Inventiveness and self-reliance are being scheduled right out of them." Mitten Strings for God, Katrina Kenison.

And that's it right there. It's what happens when the amount of time at home in our day exceeds our planned activities. Lollygagging. Creative exploration. Endless of hours of play.

There is time. For anything.

Time to listen for His voice, and time to stop and hear the answer.

Time to spend in the garden, weeding or planting or watering or picking off grubs, or just admiring.

Time to say "yes!" to the little ones asking for story after story to be read.

Time to bake cookies.

Time to lie on the grass with my big boy, just watching the sky and talking about God's splendor.

Time to read from the Word at lunch, dawdling over our porridge and chewing on His words for awhile. Time for the children to then ask "Can we get out our Bibles out too?" Forgive me Lord for not doing this more often. They need me to do this daily, and I will, at lunch. We all sit (well, all but Will :)), heads bowed over bibles, reading quietly and reading aloud before heading into rest time.

Time to teach my children a new hymn! Something I hope to start doing more and more. One a day with lunch until I run out of old hymns that I know! For yesterday it was "Open my eyes, Lord; help me to see your face............" To say they loved it would be an understatement. They sang it the rest of the day and my heart swelled with joy every time.

Time to put my feet up, to read, to make another cup of tea and sip it slowly.

Time for messy craft.

Time for baking bread.

Time for cuddles.

Time for music.

Time for longer-than-usual read alouds. Little Men, the huckleberrying chapter, had us all captivated and why stop? We were sprawled out on a rug on the hill under the gum trees, close, sharing this story together. There was time to keep reading. And read we did! We read until Elijah begged for Hide and Seek, and I finally relented.

Time to play Hide and Seek with a patient 4 year old who won't be 4 forever. Actually, he won't be 4 for much longer at all.

Time to play with Papa when he got home. Until Mama calls out "It's nearly dark, and dinner is about to go on the table! Into the bath everyone....." And they stream in, sweaty and grubby and oh so happy. Papa Time will always do that to them. :)

Can you see why we love our home days so much? There is time, to say yes to me and to them and to my God. Home days are precious and preserved in our family. Typically, we spend 3 or 4 days out of every 7 at home. And they have become, without doubt, our favourite days of the week.

Today is not a home day. This morning lessons will be rushed for we are off to do something special, then sell some eggs, then gather groceries, and a few little bits and pieces for Easter. And this afternoon is dance class for the children, so we will be back out again. But that is the wonderful thing. Home day refreshes us, strengthens us, grounds us. It gives us energy and courage and light to then spread forth, have adventures and see friends and do the necessaries in town - before coming home once more, and seeing the twilight and the moonlight and the early morning sunlight.

It is up now, the sun. Shining golden across the fields out the front of our home. The wood ducks are passing the house, chortling as they do, and the lorikeets are screeching as they fly past my window. The world is waking up. My husband and all the little ones are still sleeping in their beds ....... and I am going to sneek outside for a few moments with Jesus before heading into the day.

I am so thankful for this place, this journal of mine, this blogging world. The thoughts churning in my head for hours are now out! They are churned into print and I can process them. I can share them. They make sense now.

Yes, home days are wonderful and home days, for me, are essential.


Amanda said...

Beautiful post Saminda. I am starting to appreciate my home days so much more and allow my boys that time to explore and get dirty. I know a couple of ladies who thrive on filling every minute of their day with activities and play dates and I have learned to say no to many of these requests as I know my boys crave that unhurried time and a safe place to fall. Bless you and pray your busy day goes smoothly.

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Funny as I am reading this because Tuesday is my town day. I have to drop 3 children off to 3 different activities including a dance lesson which is meant to finish at 5.30pm but always runs late which makes me late home. The only day my husband is home before me! I don't begrudge my children these opportunities - they are all local and on the same day and we also go to the library and wholefoods store but I much prefer my home days for all the same reasons.
Little Men is my favourite book of all time - so much inspiration in there for an exciting childhood at home.

Heather said...

Saminda, this was a lovely post. I too love being at home, as does Bee. Cakes, however, loves to be out and about, doing and seeing things. She is very curious about the world.

Lately I do wish to leave home a bit more though...because I never do. Too much work!

Even though today wasn't a home day, I hope you enjoyed it!

jazzy cat said...

I have always loved that wordsworth poem, especially that line which was the inspiration for my Grade 12 English project on Solitude. Sounds just divine your day at home!

Kelly said...


Sandra said...

My family love home days too (or parts there of). Just the time to enjoy and not to rush and push.

AmFriend said...

Your home days sound simply wonderful and blissful. Your description of these special days makes me yearn to share just one with you and your precious family.
May God bless you with many more rejuvenating home days.


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