fall craftiness

Some kids love to color, some kids love paint. Our kid loves tape. Really, any kind of tape--masking, scotch, duct, electrical, painting. I have to ration him, if I'm to make sure that we have tape in the house when it's actually needed for something. And the truth is, he does pretty cool things with tape, and has actually gained some good taping skills, something I didn't even know existed until I watched one of his otherwise-coordinated friends really struggle to work with tape. Clearly she hasn't had the practice he has.
But lately a new material has taken over, and that's the hot glue gun. I know it sounds crazy to let a four-year-old use the hot glue gun, but he does it with supervision and he's really careful. It's a great material, really, because it's so easy and precise and it hardens quickly. But boy, can that kid go through the hot glue sticks!
Thus inspired by my son, I had myself a nice little date the other night with the hot glue gun and some of the outdoor treasures that have been filling up pockets and baskets of late. It was nice to put these items to use, and truly, they are so beautiful--all these ways that trees have to reproduce. I was happy to walk by these decorations every day, until we found out that half of the buckeye trees we collect from have really precious buckeyes that the campus arborist wants to collect and propagate into gifts for graduating seniors. But the other half are just rubbish. And here I have them all happily mixed together, hanging on my wall.


a child's view

Sorting through photos last weekend (our computer was running oh-so-slow and we needed to clear some thing out!) I came across photo after photo that Finn had clearly taken. We let him use the camera sometimes, with the hand strap tightened to it doesn't drop, but I typically don't pay too much attention to the outcome. Most of the pictures, to be sure, are quite blurry and sometimes unrecognizable, but the ones that aren't! Man, I tell you, I just love seeing how he sees the world--what interests him, what his view is like ... it's like a little step into his world, which I suppose all photography is. So here I present--the world according to Finn, age 4.


dancing into fall

Since having a second child, the hardest part of mothering has always been for me the stress of so many different needs to meet, and figuring out how to meet them all, or whose needs to meet first--from the baby (toddler!) whose sleep is still precious and protected, to the parent who works out of the house with lots of commitments and responsibilities, to the older sibling with activities and playdates and plans, to the stay-at-home mama who wants simply to accomplish something, anything. Each of us has had our turn in pole position at various points, and now we're trying, once again, to find our way into this season's dance. It is a dance, isn't it? Someone stepping forward, someone stepping back, everyone getting a turn to spin.
Finn has wanted, for quite some time now, to take a dance class, and this fall was the promised start date. But once he saw the Olympics this summer and discovered gymnastics, that was his only goal. And I have to admit that the dance has, thus far this season, felt more like gymnastics than a dance. Some leaping and flying to be sure, but some crashing too. Plenty of stretching, and learning to bend.
I have every hope that things will settle soon into something workable for us all. I'm considering radical changes--pulling Finn out of some things, having more time at home for us all, slowing things down, so that our life is a little less like a four-year-old gymnastics class. Maybe something more like floating, or climbing or swinging or exploring or the many other things our fall has also been.
Hope your feet are finding their steps in the dance...