This month's theme is...

Poor you. Sometimes I get stuck, and I have to write about things until I get unstuck, and that can take awhile.

It's probably the adjustment to having another child. Or maybe it's the fact that some of our wild stompings have settled down and we're moving into a chaotic kind of routine, more of the shape of what our life will be here.

Or maybe it's my poor neglected novel and ungerminated other ideas, gathering dust at the base of my skull, longing for water and sunlight.

Whatever it is, I've been thinking about a certain kind of lifestyle.

It's my pretend world. It's pretty simple. I'm not really one for clothes or parties or shoes. I don't like standing on stage. I could go without watching any more movies in the theater without much regret. I like concerts, but can live without them.

But this is what a day in my pretend world would look like:

I would wake up with the sun of course, after a deep and refreshing sleep. I'd make myself tea or coffee, and make some for someone else, too. I'd wander out to some outdoor spot and pray. Then I'd start to write. When I got stumped for the next sentence, I'd pick up my knitting and think for awhile as I threw down some rows, then continue until I had my work done for the day. I'd paint in the afternoons. I'd cook or garden, edit my writing, and then read great and beautiful books with whatever time I had left.

Evening would be soft and purple. Maybe there would be sunsets to watch, maybe there would be firelight and singing.

It's not that my children wouldn't be in my pretend world. They'd be harmoniously working amongst themselves, singing and creating and taking such good care of their things.

They wouldn't be peeing on the floor. Or destroying an entire pack of clothespins that I just bought. Or fighting.

Okay, so life is a little bit different in the real world than in the Pretend World. There is coffee, also tea, but they are often cold before I get to them. I read guiltily when I really should be doing other things. I knit a row and then set my project down. My book is very, very neglected.

But here it is! This is the life I have been given, God came over to me and placed it gently into my hands and now I'm supposed to do something with it. And now that I have it, it's the one I want, really and truly. But how?

Kids are not seamless. They are not convenient, they are not quiet. They are not always harmonious. They are often not careful.

What they are is boisterous! Joyful, loving, genuine, hilarious, sweet, adorable, hungry, moody and engaging. I need to find a way to access the bits of me that can work with these traits. I need to find my fun side.

Of course, as always, God knows what we need. Because I am incredibly selfish. Not with stuff, usually, not with money (usually) but with my time. It's mine it's mine it's MINE!

And no, it's not. And because I am still a child, too, I will learn these lessons even as I teach them to my children, giving up my way for someone else's, making my boundaries and then relaxing them. Being kind. Being more of an US than a ME. Asking the only important questions: What open road is before us today? Who will we meet? How will we love? (Not: What will my word count be?)