Monday, July 13, 2009

Rhythms ...

Big beautiful Poneke sky.I do wonder what my kids will say about their
mother and their childhood experiences one day
Archives - adventuring with Marcus

Knitting is handy. I can sit and knit while juggling my household of pent up boys who have finally recovered from a nasty bout of flu. No more runny noses. No more coughing til they vomit. No more high fevers. No more disturbed sleeps. Well for them anyway. It's 3am and I am writing this because this is the only time I get to myself and I have never been able to sleep well at night. Daytime yes, but come night time, all my senses come awake and alert.

Anyway, about knitting. I am doing a scarf which requires a single rib pattern, with a slipstitch at the beginning and end of every second row, and two balls of wool alternating to make a striped pattern. It's for my husband (I owe him so many presents). Its made using a rather costly yarn so I feel rather luxurious as I make it. Lovely lovely textures in my hands. Its called Noro Silk Garden and is 45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair, and 10% Lambswool. I put the link in my post.

The thing about knitting is that it can be slow going at first. Anyone who knits knows this. It's awkward, the pattern gets messed up and has to be undone and reknitted otherwise those flaws will haunt you, even though no one else would notice or care. The pattern checked. The stitches recounted and the whole thing observed to ensure no stitches are dropped or out of sequence. But after awhile slowly but surely a steady rhythm will emerge. That's the part I like. When the pattern has become familiar, and a steadier and quicker pace starts to happen. Then it flows and happens all natural like. And whatever I'm working on starts growing in my hands.

Being a mum is like that. Having a family can be very disturbing. I see messes everywhere. I see a constant stream of work. Constant demands that have to be met because children do not disappear. Putting my own needs aside constantly to be available for the needs of others. I love my kids, there's no denying that. But it is disconcerting to always be about things for others. To go without. To change something that feels natural for something that doesn't feel natural.

For instance: I am not a sporty person. I look all uncouth when I run, I hate feeling all uncomfortable and I hate competitiveness because I am useless at sports. I have a son who loves rugby and is playing his first season. It is hard to get motivated to go stand in the cold and watch six year olds run up and down a field. I don't even know what they are doing. I don't think they do either sometimes.

But he loves it. And I love seeing his pride in his game and his team. He walks around in his rugby jersey and socks at home. He wore them out to dinner one night (grass stains and dirt marks intact) hoping someone would ask him about it. He scored his first try a couple of weeks ago and helped set up another one. He was stoked and so were we.

My husband is technical, musical and homely. He loves to be private. I am the complete opposite. I love to be around people too and although I like music, I cannot listen to the boys playing the same thing over and over. I feel cross when I see guitars lying around (I tripped over one tonight, ouch) and when they play their drums too loud. I am however enjoying seeing them learning chords and songs with their dad. I am enjoying seeing my son practicing when no one's looking. I get it, I do.

In the last couple of years I've figured out how I can handle almost any change. I realised at some point recently that its all about flow. Things change with the end of a career or a new baby or new job or whatever. And then it becomes a matter of finding my rhythm again. Of fitting things to me in a way I can handle, work with, live with and make sense of. Of getting in my flow, my slip stream. And one thing I have a bit of is time. Time to make adjustments and allow things to settle around me. Time to respond rather than react. Time to sit with things for awhile and see how it all fits together. Time to sift through and discover new treasures and delete excesses.

I like to make things. I have a few friends who do too. So we formed a group and opened it up to the community I live in. We meet once a month and last week had 15 turn up which isn't a bad turnout for flu-season and in the middle of winter. That's helped me immensely because I now have a crafting forum that I belong to with other like-minded folk who also love to create.

I love people. Having a blog and Facebook and email has allowed me steady daily contact with lots of people amidst the business of running a family. I can talk with others without tidying my house, getting dressed or even getting out of bed. It's awesome and so family friendly.

Knitting. I miss immersing myself into bigger artful projects so knitting is a perfect medium for now. I get to click away on my needles while the baby sucks on the ball of wool and the kids ricochet off the couches around me. I've rediscovered radio and talkbacks because I cannot watch tv and knit at the same time. I grew up with my mama listening to a steady stream of talkback radio. I loved talkback when I was a bachelorette. I loved listening to people from all different walks of life sharing their opinions, stories and feedback. Mind you, it was rather negative today. I wish I could find a good channel because I want to introduce my kids to it too. It's a great way to find out that there are lots of ways to look at the world.

Adventures are really important to me. I always dreamed of travelling one day when I was in my twenties. I wanted to be a missionary and work in far off places. Instead I met my gorgeous husband and now have three kids on my mission field here at home. So every now and then I take my camera and my kids and we head off into our local environment with my 'other' eyes on, taking photos and exploring. Having a blog means my friends overseas get to see where we live. and the specialness of our place. I think I live in a wonderful place, made more wonderful to me due to this recording and journalling experience.

Home. I have resigned myself to a certain amount of disorder around me. I have to breathe deeply when others come. Our home is um, well lived in. It smells like little boys, it looks like there's a meal been prepared and consumed on every surface, the washing is never completed, the floors always need doing. My crafting projects spread out. There are baby toys and equipment everywhere. And I don't look under furniture. It's too damn scary and I don't need to know anyway. Its a neverending cycle and I am most aware of this when I am around women who do their homes everyday and have routines and things. See my way of deciding what is happening each day is to see how I feel when I wake up. Some days I decide I am tired so I go back to sleep (when Knuckles does). Others I have lots of energy and we are up and off. Or I may feel like people so we try and find another family to play with. If its cold and miserable, I try and figure out the best way to spend a day at home which can mean food, movies, blankets, heaters, card games, reading, music, tv. Mostly I base it on the best possible experience we can have on that day.

These are my rhythms. The ways that I make sense of my world and make it fit me. I like its unpredictableness and lack of strict structures. It means I can go with the flow. Nothing impeding us from having the best possible times.

Just like knitting. One just has to find her rhythm.

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