12.07.2012

she pulls on this heart like she pulls on the sea

Living simply. It's been on my mind a lot lately, due in part to the upcoming holidays and just in general, what with being a mother. Living in our tiny house nestled cozily in the flashy suburbs on the outskirts of Boca Raton, I'm not blind to the world of glitz and excess surrounding us. I've been losing the game of one-upping for a great deal of my life, since I was first that girl with the wrong shoes at the prestigious preparatory school I attended. The girl who didn't listen to the cool music that everyone else did, the girl who never saw the movies everyone else in class was talking about, the girl who didn't know the names of the hottest, hippest clothing designers from the names of the other students in class. I've watched my younger sister step through the same hurdles, struggling to understand the difference between having more than enough and not being an elementary schooler with Coach shoes.

I'm guilty of seeing commercials on television and exclaiming with such unwavering certainty that Ethan would just love the item being advertised -- and maybe he would -- but he also loves the toys he has, and the books he checked out all by himself from the library, and the donkey he can visit outside the local u-pick, and singing songs on the way to grandma's house and back again, and dance parties to Tilly And The Wall in the living room, and laying in bed together and sharing a tangerine. This year, our theme for gift giving was practicality: things Ethan could really use -- a new toothbrush set, a step stool to reach the counters when we bake together, a cozy pillow to sit on when we read stories, some new books to read, art supplies and new coloring books. Which isn't to say Santa isn't bringing him a toy that he will absolutely love, but Ethan's list of holiday gifts will make him the toddler version of the girl his mother was in high school: intentionally uncool, intentionally without, intentionally a cafeteria's length away from the popular table. But happy, but fulfilled, but not having the slightest clue what it means to want for anything.

And so living simply, well, it's something I want to strive to implement more in our everyday life. Recently Ethan and I planted a garden -- if a cucumber plant and a cherry tomato plant constitute as an actual garden -- and I've been nervously anticipating results from one of the two. It isn't the first time we started a garden but what made this attempt unique was that a tomato actually ripened and Ethan was able to pick something he grew. It's one of my goals as a mother to keep little things like this alive and well and magical in Ethan's life. You know, the little things that are often overlooked -- I don't want them to be. I want him to know that giving is immensely more fun than receiving and so over the past two days, we delivered tins of homemade cookies to our favorite Starbucks baristas just because we appreciate their kindness. Another one of my main goals is to implement more making and less buying and involving Ethan in the process even if a trip to the nursery to acquire our gardening supplies takes three hours and buckets of sweat and toddler tantrums and spilled fish food and a stop for farm fresh ice-cream before we even find where the potted plants are located. In the end, Ethan and I spent an otherwise drab Friday smiling as he plucked off his first ripe ma-ma-mato and took a bite.

3 comments:

  1. This post is so beautiful & refreshing. I think there are more people like you than you would realize. I was that girl also, and I am that much better because of it. I loved this post Lindsay. Following from the Friendly Friday hop.

    www.writingmydreams.com

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  2. Oh Lindsey, this is so so beautiful and your words speak volumes. I can't agree more and frequently reflect on this. I love coming to your space. xx- Monica

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