Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Princess Turns Eight

You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again. ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762

Today is a homeschool holiday. My one and only child is now eight years old—well, technically around 7:30 tonight. I let her sleep in for as long as she wanted this morning--truly rare in my home. Unfortunately for the Princess, we are not actually celebrating until the weekend and we are housebound as my husband is working in town this week (so far), therefore he has the van. There will not be much more I can do to make it a special day today other than suspending lessons and just spending some time doing things together we would not normally do and just letting her play.

We were promised nice weather all day with a bit of warm in the afternoon. I am planning to start working on the garden beds a bit at time, now that we have been having near normal levels of rainfall this year. Today I started with the first one people see by the road, the one around the mailbox which fills up with variegated vinca surrounding a purple clematis on a trellis. Grass has encroached the bed as the last two years of drought stunted the usually vigorous vinca. I would rather have had Black-Eye Susans in that bed as a contrast to the clematis, but it just never really did well there.

The Princess has always enjoyed gardening, but even more so since we read The Secret Garden recently. Beside helping me, the Princess amused herself playing outside dragging out every outside plaything she could find. She talked about how everyone must be wondering why she is just playing outside instead of doing lessons. The post lady certainly knew for the Princess blurted it out as she handed the mail to me.

The Princess also looked for all the bird nests in our trees. A dove has been sitting on her nest in the lowest fork of our cherry tree (not the kind that produces fruit) trying to be invisible by not moving, but so low we cannot help but see her. We heard the neighboring hawk when it got the notion to announce its delight of gliding on the air currents far above, but did not see much of it because of all those leaves on the trees! Spring is not a slow process here. It seems to be a flurry of blossoms starting with the hailing of daffodils in the first week of March and ending with the dogwoods and azaleas in mid April. Then as you look around, you realize that all is dressed as summer has come.

I started out in the cool of the morning, but being that this garden is on the east side, I was in the sunlight--In truth, I was in the sunlight longer than I should have been. We took a break and I made Pina Colada smoothie mid morning, which we slipped on the front porch. While I was making them I noticed that my arms were showing a bit of color and I knew I needed to wrap it up for being outside today soon. So after the smoothie, I finished my work on the the mailbox garden and then we went inside. I asked the Princess to pick a DVD to watch and she picked Honey, I Blew up the Kid.

While she giggled through the movie, I treated myself for sunburn. My arms, as it turns out, were not the worse parts—my knees were really red and really hot. So, I treated first with baby butt cream, our name for diaper rash cream, to get the benefit of zinc oxide. Later I alternated with aloe vera gel and shea cream. Typically, sunburns for me are not painful, unless I have clothing or something directly irritating the area, but the heat with the alternating sweats and chills can get to me!

My husband came home with a bouquet of flowers for the Princess and was kind enough to make dinner, because by that time I was not feeling very well; sun sickness, I think. Afterward, the Princess and he played around in the spa while I stayed inside, out of the sun.

It may sound like the day was not particularly special, but the Princess was excited about her smoothie and playing in the spa and, of course, getting out of lessons, these were the highlights of her day. Oh, she also received an invitation to a friend's birthday party for the weekend after this one, which she talked about for an hour, I think, starting over when her father came home. Obviously, she was really excited about that. Her grandparents called to wish her Happy Birthday while she was in the spa also.

The Princess is so easy to please, really. She told us that all she wanted to do for the day was spend time with her family--her MA (the sound a baby goat makes) family--and that is exactly what we did. (Ever since we stayed with my aunt and uncle three months ago, she has been making goat sounds and calling us that, to the point it is beyond annoying, but like everything else, this phase will pass and I will feel all so sentimental when I think of it someday--but, today, I cannot wait for that day!)

It seems as though it could not have been eight years ago when this child was placed into my arms for the very first time, my Lord. Thank you for this precious soul in my life. Please continue to cultivate me into a better mother according to what You wish me to be. I can always use a weeding out of things encroaching on my garden of relationships and a pruning back of me so that my Master Gardener is glorified.


  1. Happy Birthday to the Princess! I don't like the sun. The glare affects my eyes. I work outside very early or very late but never through the hottest part of our day.

  2. I am rarely seen outside without sunglasses. I don't like strong light when to glare on white paper when I read either.


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