Oh, North Carolina in spring, you steal my heart. That surreal bright green is creeping up the hillsides, popping everywhere. We’ve been gleefully spending most free afternoons outside, riding bikes, drawing with chalk, playing “bubbles,” as the kids call it (when I make bubbles for them to run through and catch).
The kids are becoming such little buddies, creating such a little culture all their own. I remember in my high school/college years I used to babysit for this family that I adored. They had six children, and they had such a unique and fun little family culture. The kids played these incredibly imaginative games, and I remember watching them with this acute longing to have a family dynamic like this, with children who love each other like this, who create their own beautiful little world together. I am starting to see it unfold between these three and it is heart-melting. I love catching them in their games. Noah and Philippa have this bond playing ball together. One of them sits on the bottom of the stairs, throws the ball into the play room, the other runs around and chases it, while they both kill themselves laughing. The other day I found all three of them on the couch trying to suck their fingers and twirl their hair like Phoebe does, in a row. Both Noah and Phoebe have this tenderness with Philippa, and lately I’m catching them holding hands with her and walking. Now of course, they all fight and hurt one another sometimes, but we keep teaching and nudging and trying again, and we are seeing more kindness grow. Even momma and daddy are working on gentleness and kindness. These lessons are learned over and over again, even as adults, because our natural inclination is to be selfish and often we are most unkind when we feel someone infringing on our space or desires.
Sunday was a gorgeous day here in the 80s so we retreated to the mountains, looking for a spot to let the kids explore and play in the water. We went up to a popular area on the parkway, Graveyard Fields, and played in the stream there. Brandon helped the older two with fishing. I tried to sit and knit for a few minutes but was quickly seen by Philippa who ran to me (totally soaked through) to snuggle, so that was that. I must have sighed with a hint of frustration (even though I adore her snuggles!) because Brandon looked at me with a smirk and said, “Stressful relaxing, isn’t it?” YES. It is so stressful sometimes just to try and go somewhere to relax as a family. Philippa insisted on “watkin” (walking) herself the whole time. They really are all such excellent hikers, and they love our Sunday adventures. Sometimes it feels like more effort than it’s worth to pack everyone up and get out into the mountains somewhere, especially with Brandon working long hours lately. But it’s good to just get away from our regular life for just a little bit sometimes.
I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who are reading along. It really means a lot to me that you’re here and just know I love hearing from you! I hope you have a happy and blessed weekend, wherever you are.