Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What little people leave behind

As I tucked myself into bed last night something caught my attention. A tiny motorcycle sihouetted against the night sky. An unlikely place for a motorcycle, and yet . . . the right place for a motorcycle because it was placed there by a little boy who has a passion for precariously positioning his treasured possessions.

I turned to Aidan with a lump in my throat. "Look. They leave their mark on this place, don't they?"

Children imprint themselves upon your life. Some of their imprints are loud and obvious. But some are merely tiny, residual traces of themselves they leave behind to be happened upon. In my case, these discoveries often make me want to cry. Sometimes, when you are with a person, the preciousness of their presence is lost on you because you are in the moment with them, seeing and touching in living colour. But when they are not with you, and only their half-empty mug of tea and rumpled pillow are left behind, your heart aches for them.

Here are some of the ways my children have marked our home, leaving behind echoes of their daily activities. Marks which, when discovered in the quiet hours, stir up my heart, if only because when when my little ones are tucked quietly in bed, these small evidences are all that remain of them until they awaken again:

This lamp never manages to look dignified. The shade is always unhooked. It has begun to look more familiar that way.

There is a Psalm that says; "The high standing forest of trees He strips bare..." That is the effect my kids have had on my houseplants. I recently found the livingroom floor littered with leaves. The plant, from which they had been plucked, looked so pathetic, it's naked stems poking out from it as though it were having a very bad hair day. Though healing, it remains scarred.

I only discovered this little gem a few months ago. When I did, I was so delighted by the unexpectedness of it. Caelah must have snuck one of her window markers into the car sometime after her last birthday and sketched out a tiny little stick-man up in the top corner of the car window. I love that it has been there for so long, smiling out at the world as we drive by.

Caelah also left her mark on the car in a more indelible way. I remember her asking me how to spell "car" one day as we drove to the library. What I didn't know was that she was practicing her writing skills in ink on the car upholstery.

And of course, some are temporary marks, left by necessity: piles of coats for every kind of weather, and elastics criss-crossing every drawer that may contain tiny bits for eager hands to snatch and scatter.

My house has been marked by my kids, but so have I. And though plants heal, and chalk washes away, my very being will always be imprinted by these days of impromptu creativity and wide-eyed discovery.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Little sister . . .

. . . is engaged!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ceiling Fan Blues

I just heard the most devastating news: We need a ceiling fan. No one warned me. No one even hinted at the possibility. But it seems that it had been a foregone conclusion form the beginning, with only me obliviously unawares of the impending blemish on the house. A two-story livingroom, it seems, needs a fan to distribute air into the upper parts of the house. Oh, how badly I took this news...

For years, I have seen designers on those home reno shows shudder at the ceiling fans they find in people's homes. The first thing they all do is tear them from the wall. They do it with such glee that I am left to assume they stomp and spit on it off camera. In any case, such displays have given me the strong message that ceiling fans cannot be redeemed and that their tackiness outweighs their functionality by a long shot.

I took to the internet with a mission. Find a nice ceiling fan. Find nice ceiling fan. Find a nice ceiling fan. But I made the mistake of typing in, "Trendy Ceiling Fans"--and was assaulted by the most bizaar and unattractive lighting fixtures I have ever seen:

I finally just looked at the Home Depot site, and scrolled through the endless fans they had on display. And I began to have some hope. Ceiling fan engineers (?) have been doing their homework. Maybe they got tired of seeing their hard work mocked and trampled on reno shows. Now, most ceiling fans are more lighting with less fan.
I do hope that I can find one that suits me.

We just might be buying those taps from the last post. It turns out that Aidan's brother can get us a HUGE discount. And I am more desirous of them than ever now that a lighting sale at Canadian Tire yielded these for our bathroom:

Matching! Matching! Matching!