What is a commonplace book? For me, this is a space where I post interesting links, reflections on what I’m reading, and the newest recipes I’ve been trying out — a collection of miscellaneous micro-posts.
My first semester as a co op art teacher ended well, even though the students are merciless about my inability to draw (also to write on the marker board). I learned a lot from the “real” art teachers I helped in the other classes, and loved connecting church art history projects with books.
More roasted garlic butter for Christmas, but next year, I’m tempted to try slow cooker bacon jam. I’m definitely not settled on a trademark food yet. (As I type this, the mail lady just dropped off J’s grandaddy and grandma’s famous homemade fudge. Man. Is fudge hard to make? That should totally be my thing.)
Starting around Thanksgiving, Pippin finally started going gently into the good night of preschool drop off. It feels like a natural and expected part of our week now, but I’m still not quite ready to say we are doing formal preschool again next year.
This winter, I’m pretty much back to my jeans uniform of auld lang syne, straddling that place where we are starting to wean and I’m about to gain ten pounds. (Eep.) But I’ve got a few beautiful skirts that work their way into rotation, and help on the days everything is too big or too small.
The garden trundles on. This fall I’ve killed three mums, some hanging plant I never IDed but which is apparently susceptible to frost, the mini rose, which J mowed over, and the Solomon’s Seal, which I left out of the ground too long, I think. Still, I’ve started green onions and mint growing in the windowsill, so it’s not just a slaughterhouse around here. My ambition is small, but I have laid down black plastic to kill some grass and start a tiny herb and tomato garden next spring.
I have developed mixed feelings about loveys after Scout lost her Oswald for 48 hours in the local Walmart and refused to accepted Imposter Oswald, who I spent $35 (!!!) to replace on eBay. Proceed with caution, folks.
Naps are still mostly working here, although the other day I found Pippin hiding under the couch instead of in bed. Syncing their naps (or quiet times, eventually) may be the best thing I’ve done for my mama sanity — ever.
I still feel weird about weaning, but I’m starting to move toward closing up shop when we are done with the holidays and travel. I worry a lot about how I’d handle nursing while pregnant, and so I’d like to send Scout out into the world before there is someone else to contend with.
Recently, I was talking to my dad about blogging. My sister and I are both Internet People — in fact, she earns her living that way, and we are all super proud. I sometimes feel kind of embarrassed about my internet use, but a passage in Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirlhelped articulate how I feel about it:
“How do you not like the Internet? That’s like saying, ‘I don’t like things that are convenient. And easy. I don’t like having access to all of mankind’s recorded discoveries at my fingertips. I don’t like light. And knowledge.”
I’ve been writing on the internet since I was about eleven, and my dad built me a book review website. (How was I surprised when I became a librarian?) And while my goals have changed in all those years, I think what I am trying to say when I blog is something like this:
I feel weird about things. You might feel weird, too. And that’s ok. You’re probably doing a good job. We’re probably all pretty ok.
I don’t blog because I want a ton of readers. Instead, I’m mostly writing for the dozen or so friends who read this, especially the ones with whom I don’t always regularly talk anymore. I don’t blog because I hope to monetize this — while I’m so glad friends can make their living that way, it feels a bit too Rollings Reliable for me. (Of course, probably no one wants to pay me to blog, anyway.) I don’t blog because I want to record and share the details of my darling children — Instagram fills that role for me somewhat, but mostly I try not to be a mommy blog. I feel like many of the details of my children’s lives belong to them, so I try to blog more about being a mother than who I mother. Does that make sense? It’s an important distinction for me.
I do like people to read what I write OF COURSE, which is why I post online instead of tucking everything away in my journal, and I like to hear back from people when I write something they like. I also guess I would like to write my way toward an idea for a book someday, and write myself into the confidence to write it.
I think of the online writing — and writing in general — that has meant so much to me in my life, and made me feel less alone, much of it excerpted on my old tumblr. Things that made me believe it was ok to feel the way I was feeling. I want to contribute to that conversation, that work of shoring others up, to reassure readers that they are worthy, especially scared new mothers.