It was this moment
that I fell in love
all over again.
I watched him slyly check
my growing wildflower bouquet
for colours and flowers
so he could fill in the gaps.
As he bent to pick out some yellow,
I looked at the muscles in his arms,
the flecks of grey in his hair,
and the pride he takes in making me happy.
I thought of how present he is in fatherhood and in love.
It was this moment
that I was filled with warm, liquid gratitude
for this love
Autumn has always been the most comforting season to me. The season scented with cinnamon and apples; the season full of gratitude and promise; the happy lull between a busy summer and the season of celebration and twinkle lights; the season in which I reflect and re-focus.
This autumn will bring a new addition to our little family when we welcome Poppy’s little brother or sister into this wild, wonderful world. The transition to two children feels natural and right, but will come with its fair share of growing pains I am sure.
The coming season of transitions has made me think more and more about what I am grateful for and what makes our little world spin. My husband and I both come from divorced families. On top of that, our rather tiny families are spread out from Ontario to Newfoundland. This has not made us bitter, but it has made us conscious. It has made us really think about the type of childhood we want our children to experience.
When we become parents, we make the decision; whether consciously or not, to change or repeat our own experiences. Perhaps it was our own challenging childhoods that have made us so committed to the ‘life uncommon’ as we like to call it. The natural, attachment parenting, Waldorf-inspired lifestyle is not always an easy one to live by in today’s society. Although the online community is alive and thriving, it can be a struggle to find the support in a small Ontario town. It is often a lonely place.
The idea of me staying home with our children has always been important to us, but it was something we thought we would have to compromise on for financial reasons. There was no way we could live on one income alone. All of that changed when I laid eyes on Poppy; I knew there would be no other option. Although we had no idea how it would work, the decision was a simple one for us. Family and friends are hopeful, but have their doubts and fears, yet we press forward.
My husband and I willingly give up having fancy cars, houses, and trips so that we can give what matters to our children; our time and attention. Our house is tiny, but full of love and happy squeals. With each passing month, we let go of something else we thought we needed for enjoyment and find greater happiness and freedom because of it. We fight the urge to buy expensive, plastic toys because we know Poppy prefers pots and pans, old phones, and the sprinkler. We so look forward to the construction of a noise wall for her pure enjoyment (as seen in Amanda Soule’s book The Creative Family). Instead of expensive trips, we promise to show her nature, the thrill of skinny dipping, and backyard camping. We will have chickens and trees and siblings for her to run wild with. We follow our instincts and are repeatedly amazed with the natural flow a child will follow when allowed to do it at her own pace. We happily move through this wild world as a family unit and sometimes giggle at our dorkyness.
I am so happy to have found a kindred soul to make my life and family with. Without him this life of staying home, baking, knitting, crafting, photographing, gardening, nesting, canning, harvesting, and exploring unschooling would be impossible. This gentle man who is so willing to jump outside of the box with me; to stand out and ignore raised eyebrows; to be trusting enough to explore unschooling; to support my decision to stay home at any cost; to squeeze my hand or rub the small of my back when he is proud of me; to rise before the sun to pack the car and make our lunches for a day spent at the farmers’ market or a craft show; this man who runs through sprinklers and reminds me of the powerfully beautiful woman I am; this man who lives by the quote “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
So in this season of gratitude and simmering spices I invite you to take a moment to really look at your own quiet heros. Remember where you began and where you are going, but most importantly, where you are. Let us teach our children love by loving; communication by communicating; and gratitude by being grateful.
Let us begin with each other.
Go gently and be wonderful.
Erin is Poppy’s mama & married to a gentle man. They live in a small Ontario town. She is defining herself everyday. Her home is warm and overflowing with laughter. She listens to sweet, soothing music. She loves to string together words and beads. She loves windy days. She is learning to let go and living a life uncommon. She craves the deep woods where she will plant gardens and raise babies in a beautiful old farmhouse surrounded by breathing fields and whispering trees. Visit her at appleswithhoney.