Family Culture

I was at a loss about writing something here today.

What can I write about when I’ve done nothing interesting all week?

And what exactly have I done all week? Not much. Drew, I guess.

How about the weekend? Well, it was mostly an at-home weekend with all of us doing our own projects, when plans with friends and family fell out.

Ok, so maybe write about that? OK!

Well, I really was thankful for a weekend at home. The usual trip to the grocery store and swimming pool doesn’t count. Suddenly, to have the whole of Sunday to hang around meant that we could spread ourselves out in the living room. The boys on the floor and I on the couch.

Popsicle stick house was on the agenda for the boys, and all the materials were on the carpet and the floor. The sticks, ruler, pencils, glue gun, drop cloth, knife etc. Bits of paper and wood are always flying around the house anyways. There were moments of cringe every time I looked around. So much stuff, no place to walk…why can’t I keep a tidy house like EVERY ONE ELSE?! Oh well, maybe not in this lifetime…

I was spread out on the couch, tucked under a throw, and cushions all over. The sketchbook and pencils on top. I drew for all those hours. Taking my time to really look at all the shades on the skin of the neck, or the folds of the cloth. Little by little, my Hobbit coming to life. I was content. Wanting nothing more in that moment but just to follow the marks of my pencil as they appear on paper. Taking pleasure in making every single twist and turn of the rope.

And of course, my little monkey was everywhere. Checking out what each one of the grown-ups were up to every three minutes. Asking questions, suggesting how to do things better in his four-year-old bigger-than-life ways. Humming. Telling stories of his friends, imaginary or real. Putting his own markings on the popsicle stick house. Playing the piano when all he had to say was done for the moment.

My husband and I have been striving for a family culture of making, doing, projects, thinking. A family culture where we try to do things our way rather than accepting stuff that comes out of factories. Where we have to figure out how to make things we want, make tons of mistakes while making them, and then being proud of our accomplishments- complete with all it’s crookedness and quirks. Where we question conventions every step of the way to find our way.

Perfection is not our thing. Mess is. Making is.

And that’s what we were doing on that Sunday afternoon in that messy living room. Being together and making. And my son was absorbing this way of living like he does every day.

I realized that my house is not tidy because I don’t really want it to be. Not in this lifetime…

Making together

Making together

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