. Oh,I know. It has been a long, long, long time since I've attended to my blog and I apologize to my three readers. Last you heard Em was a happy HS graduate and summer was starting. Now it is winter and Em had a lovely first semester at college and then nearly six weeks off, home with us. This picture is her snapchat from the morning as she ate her breakfast before I took her back to college. I kind of thought I'd be ok ( I was a wreck back at the end of August when she left) this time, but while I do not need heavy medication and a therapist, I'm sadder than I thought. Turns out, having my smart,loving, hardworking and beautiful daughter home was the best holiday gift I could have. Listening to her and her brother Noah laughing while they watched endless episodes of Fairy Tails together most evenings, our silly family jokes, eating most of our dinners together, day trips, and more...I loved it all. But you know, she had an amazing first semester, she loves her college and I am so excited for her journey.
There is another thing, since I last wrote, our lives changed in a big way. I can't post pictures or go into much detail but we became foster parents to a toddler that we have known since she was born. Our home is once again filled with diapers, sippy cups, children's toys, finger paints, and looking more like a pre-school every day. It's exhausting, because small children are exhausting, but it's also a joy and a privilege and seeing my older kids take such happiness in caring for and being with the wee one is a gift. So, our nest didn't exactly empty and oddly enough no one seemed particularly surprised by this.
While I can't discuss the issues that led to our situation, I can tell you that no matter where you live there are children who need foster parents and I guarantee you that there are more of them than there are foster homes. If you've ever thought about this call your local child service organization and learn more because if you choose to do so you will find yourself with challenges sure, but also with the joys and blessings that providing a child with a loving and safe home can bring. This experience has taught me that the whole cliche, "it takes a village" is completely true, we are all connected and the more love you put out there the more comes back.
I may have inserted this upside down, but Em, my mom and I were able to spend a fun Saturday recently at the MFA. I love art museums so much and recently have not been able to go as often as I typically do (to be fair, that is still quite a bit more than most people). This visit was especially nice because I got to spend it with two of my favorite women on the planet.
Em and Noah have been going to museums, often monthly or more! since they were toddlers. I think that the language of art, being able to experience it and create and just soak it up has been invaluable. I'm always surprised by the conversations we have, sometimes about the art itself, sometimes about issues the art might bring up, it doesn't matter it's always a journey I love taking. Recently we all went, along with wee one, to the Worcester Art Museum. There was one piece of art that the older kids were disturbed by and we had a great discussion about now sometimes, that unsettling feeling or even aversion is in itself part of a successful piece, bringing feelings to the surface that force us to examine mundane things in a different light. And then wee one simply squealed with delight whenever a particular painting or sculpture tickled her fancy and that is awesome too. Art saves us. It transports us beyond ourselves, beyond gravity and to a more hopeful and possible space. Art really is all possibility.
And we create and make lots of messes at home, we always have and with a toddler back in residence it's ramped up again. We all fingerprint together, or play with ooblek and play do. We mix water and sand or just stick things together. We saved a large box from the holidays and it has slowly been sprouting various found objects, crayon markes, paint, tissue and more. There is a lot of joy in these messes.
January is 3/4 over and I have already read 10 books, mostly novels, mostly fantasy. I'm reading a lovely graphic novel now, Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh and hope to finally read Dave Egger's, The Circle. I'm kind of enthralled with an urban fantasy series by Jennifer Estep ( the Elemental Assassins series) and exec till be polishing them off soon as well. Now that I can easily update from my iPad I am hoping to do a better job blogging.