Over the past few day I've had a bit of a funny feeling in my tummy. Indi is away, Bren and I have been working like crazy, and the little girls have been pretty much left to work things out by themselves.
Admittedly they've done pretty well, they've played every board game in the house, they've choreographed an entire show and made invitations and costumes, they've written songs and laid around talking and eaten us out of house and home. But every now and then when I kick off my dirty boots and come inside I feel guilty. Everyone they know is off doing fun things and they are stuck here.
Bren likes to talk about the fact that traditionally kids got these long summer weeks off school to help with the harvest. Summer is busy times on farms and we just can't get away.
This morning we walked through the forest, pulled some fences out, and picked some wild flowers on the way. I tried to make both of the girls join us but only one was interested. The other stayed home and wrote a poem. The guilty feeling returned. I carried it around for hours. It was silly I understood, but it just sat there uncomfortably.
And then the strangest thing happened. I got a message from my past self. My self of exactly one year ago, in the form of a Facebook memory.
Last year on this date I wrote a blog about this exact feeling. This is what I wrote;
The other day, before we went to the beach, we were out somewhere when I overheard someone asking Miss Pepper if she was enjoying her school holidays and what was the best thing she'd done so far. I heard her hesitate and then tell this person that she hadn't really done much at all, just lots of hanging out with her sisters on the farm, playing and doing jobs.
When I heard her say that I felt a bit guilty. I imagined her in a classroom full of students on the first day of school listening to stories of big fancy adventures and cool outings, and of her sitting there quietly, feeling like she had nothing to compare, nothing to share. Pretty much the same way I cringe inside every time I hear a grown up ask my non Santa visited children what Santa brought them for Christmas.
When we came home they resumed the game they'd been playing for days. And as I watched them in the golden light and listened to them giggling with sister glee, it occurred to me that all busy year long, these are the times we dream of. These slow days that meander along from one activity to the next, going to bed late and waking up later, eating when we are hungry, getting dressed in dirty farm clothes, wearing yesterday's braids, reading an entire book in one day, listening to an album so many times that you know every single word by heart, playing games that go on for days and days, picking fruit still warm off the trees, eating berries and plums until the juice runs down our chins and our tummies ache, walking through golden grass to feed the animals, spending time together without the demands and responsibilities of the school year.
These are our summer days. These days are golden and just right.Amazing right! Can you believe I'd even started fretting about what they'd tell their classmates about their holidays?!
So here's to the next two weeks of golden slow days. Here's to sunshine and games and kitten cuddles and letting our minds wander. I feel so much better now.
I hope things are settled and smooth and sweet in your world.
PS Photo credit to Miss Pepper for the one of me and Bren!!