We've been collecting little bits of craft stuff for Ari. ::coloured cardboard :: bubble wrap :: boxes :: egg cartons :: fabric scraps :: and the other day we walked down the street to gather up some of these beautiful leaves. Ari didn't want any photos of himself, so just lots of the glorious colours and shapes of the maple tree. We don't see lots and lots of these in Australia, especially not the city, but have one large tree down our street. When the leaves turn every year from their green through to goldens, reds, browns it reminds me of the trees my (childhood) piano teacher had all along her driveway. I hardly notice the tree throughout Summer, as all the greens just meld and blend together. (Also, the tree is at a corner, where you concentrate on looking down the road :: towards our home).
We had a wonderful time gluing the leaves + fabrics + paper scraps. And the seedpods - round little puffs, spiky funny looking things - are currently congregating on a little blue patterned tray I bought on sale years and years ago.
I've been away for a few days at my Grandmas house, and coming home this afternoon I noticed that almost all the leaves have fallen off the tree. Now its silver trunk is shining bare and beautifully naked. Its a glorious thing - seeing the empty branches of a sculptural tree.
It really was lovely coming home this afternoon :: being away for three nights with a baby and young one + my sister and her son + my Grandmas small house = ::a long holiday:: We slept on the lounge room floor, and I'll tell you - the sunrise every morning over the ocean was quite spectacular (but sorry, I wasn't quite up to taking photos - after having to change nappies + baby clothes + kids clothes at 4.30am).
While away we had a fun + loving + family day with my other sister, Anouk + her two babes + also my Dad. So, there was :: me, Ari, Mishi, Sylve, Ash, Anouk, Sidi, Rollie + Dad :: pity my brother couldn't have been there too - but he doesn't have the luxury of being a primary carer for his son - instead he works five days a week. We had lunch and birthday cake, and stories and photos and talking and walking around in the "country" (well, Mish + I slept - they walked).
I know for sure that one of the greatest things about having my babes is that my sisters have their babes similar ages and we spend a lot more time together. We have all (+ do currently) worked part-time jobs over the last few years since having children - but we seem to spend a lot of time together enjoying our sisterly relationship + being with all the children.
I know that the Dads miss out on so much not being able to be part of their baby's lives so much. And while it is often/sometimes really difficult being at home with kids, I would never change it - and I never (well, okay some times) feel envious that Sam has to go to work, while I stay at home with Ari + Mishi.
I thank my sisters for this experience of being able to learn and know them more, better, different. Its special watching them be mums and being included in their relationships with their babes. And having their feedback for my own mothering. We are all quite similar in our mothering styles - and that is due so much to our own mother. For me to say she was the best mother is a bit cliche + also an understatement. I know that all my siblings feel this way + my Dad also - that my Mum was one of the more amazing, beautiful, wise, insightful, caring, unique, inspirational woman we will ever know. Its very hard for me to put into writing how I feel about her - also, how I remember her! After more than four years that immediateness of who she was isn't so clear and easy to define.