you know how some things stick with you?
i don’t know if i read it in just one book. or if it was a re-occurring theme in books about the noble poor, but the summation in describing said poor kids:
they clothes were worn, but clean.
as if by keeping them clean, their mother somehow made up for the sin of being poor.
& for some reason this seems to echo in my mind decades after i would have first read it.
now, with four poor kids of my own.
when we go out, which isn’t too often because we are homeschooling homebodies. even my extrovert prefers being at home–he just requests that i bring people to him.
so we don’t go out too often
but when we do, as soon as we get somewhere, i notice what my kids must look like to others.
we shop second-hand (even if i did have money we would still shop second-hand) and i let my kids dress themselves. i let them choose their style. i let them choose how long or short they have their hair. i encourage them to be individuals. sometimes misha only wears princess dresses when we go out…sometimes she wears star wars pjs.
i like this about them.
but then there is the public eye. which might not even be a legitimate thing. it might just be a filter i have created to judge myself by…and now to judge my mothering skills via how my children appear in the public eye.
if you understand that at all?
i have a little voice saying to me, “your kids look pretty damn scruffy.” and i have to silence it. i have to silence it by remembering who i am and what is important to me.
don’t blame them; their mama is an artist & very distracted.
don’t blame them; their mama believes in low-impact living & does not buy extra cleaning/stain-removing product…and even before that:
don’t blame them; their mother is a terrible laundress.
don’t blame them; their mama feeds them real food that is messy–not packaged neatly & individually.
don’t blame them; their mama encourages them to play like children, to get messy.
don’t blame them; their mama has them do chores that involve the outdoors & dirt.
don’t blame them; their mama believes that there are more important things in life than making sure you put on a good appearance for the public eye.
more important things to spend your time doing than worrying if you are clean or not.
art! gardening! pets! livestock! exploration! adventure! cooking! baking! mucking about!
we do a lot of messy things around here.
okay…so i just had to get that out of my head because it was rattling around in there all morning. it has probably been percolating for weeks if not years…now it is out.
exorcism complete…now i can get some art done.