Just doing Nothing

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“I like that too,” said Christopher Robin, “but what I like doing best is Nothing.”

“How do you do Nothing?” asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.

“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, What are you going to do, Christopher Robin, and you say, Oh, nothing, and then you go and do it.”

“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.


Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was still looking at the world, with his chin in his hands, called out “Pooh!”

“Yes?” said Pooh.

“When I’m—when—Pooh!”

“Yes, Christopher Robin?”

“I’m not going to do Nothing any more.”

“Never again?”

“Well, not so much. They don’t let you.”

(A.A. Milne, The Complete Tales of Pooh)

This ending to Winnie the Pooh tugs at my heart every time I think about it and hear it on the 45-minute adaptation on Spotify that Edith listens to every day.

I think about how beautiful it is, that my children can do nothing with their days and nothing with their time, and that this nothing is a good and right and beautiful thing for them to do. I think about how never again in their lives will they be encouraged to do nothing, never again will it be a positive thing.

Most days, I feel like I did “nothing,” but I am learning that it is actually a good thing. I am guarding their ability to do nothing. I am protecting their days of playing and reading and exploring, for truly they will be gone, as one day they must be.

One day they will have classes and worksheets and assignments and schedules and logs and calendars and everything else. But not now.

For now, their nothing is everything.


DSC_0007Me: “I have to get up to shower tomorrow.”
Travis: “No you don’t. You’re not going anywhere.”
Me: “Yes, I do. There are ladies coming over.”
Travis: “Are they ladies who shower?”

(Thanks to my husband for always being supportive of my less-than eagerness to wash my hair most days.)


The other morning, while Edith was playing outside with some other children, a loud airplane flew low over the backyard. Edith’s little head popped up and she watched the whole time it was in her line of sight until it disappeared—her eyes wide, a big grin on her face, saying something to herself that I couldn’t hear from inside the house. Probably “Airplane! Whoosh!” over and over and over again. I love to see her noticing things—her eyes bright, and her face turned with complete attention. I love it. I want to foster that in her, to teach her to see things and notice things and giver her full attention to them. It is good for me to remember that she will best learn this act of noticing from me. It is a weighty thing, this job I have of being a model for another person to imitate.


Processed with VSCO with c2 presetOn Sunday, during communion, when Edith usually says (very loudly): “Jesus here!”, this week, she said: “Jesus read Frog and Toad?”


I am glad that whoever planned my house thought of the sunshine. It comes in the large, back doors, first thing in the morning, as we are still working on waking up. Then it moves a bit and spills through the big window on the other side of the dining room, warming our breakfast and getting in John Henry’s eyes as he bounces in the kitchen doorway. Then it warms up the whole house, all afternoon, through the huge front window. I live for light, and this home has given me so much. It is making up for my first three years of lightless apartment living.



As I tried to communicate to Edith the dangers of running into the road, I told her one time that the cars would “get her.” Ever since, she would say “cars get you street.” “Trucks get you street.”

“That’s right, Edith,” I would say. “The cars will get you so we stay in the yard.”

The trouble is, she has taken this very much to heart and every time we are in the front yard and she hears a car coming down the road, she crouches in the grass and looks around like she is expecting it to jump off the road and tackle her to the ground. Now she won’t even walk in a parking lot with me, holding my hand. “Cars get you,” she says in tears, again and again, until I hold her.

Mom fail or mom success? I haven’t decided.

Catching up: photos

Since I recently deactivated my facebook, another goal for this blog is to post photos once a week especially for family members.

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This boy has been growing so quickly and I have recently been remembering just how much I love the 4 month age. He is so sweet and has recently gotten into hanging out on his belly so that the second you put him down on his back, whether to change a diaper or just to play, he immediately tries to roll.
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Just trying to keep it together until dinner.
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Post-nap oranges with Pooh Bear.
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We have had sickness in the house for the last two weeks now and I am so ready for it to just go away.
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Edith’s recent favorite perch. I love watching her carry her rocking chair over to the closet and then set it up in just the right spot so that she can see the mirror.

These are a few of our Edith things

Processed with VSCO with a7 presetEvery age of Edith’s proves even more delightful than the last (the current abundance of nighttime sleep certainly helps!), and this age of her saying new things every day is too fun. I am shocked at just how much of a little sponge she is, and then even more entertained when she says something I haven’t heard before.

Here are a few of our favorite things that she says:

“Oh nice.” The other day Edith was just walking around the house, saying this over and over again. My favorite is when it comes out at the appropriate times, like when she comes across something she is interested in.

“Tuck you in?” This is Edith’s request at bedtime and it is probably the sweetest thing she says these days.

“Pooh Bear. Honey.” Edith was introduced to Pooh as simply “Pooh” or “Winnie the Pooh” but began calling him “Pooh Bear” all on her own. “Pooh Bear” is usually followed by “Honey” and then a naming of all of Pooh’s friends.

“Call Ma?” We often call Grandma from Edith’s highchair so every time she sits down to eat Grandma’s homemade applesauce, she always asks to call Grandma.

“Pat Pat Our Lady?” There is an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe over Edith’s bed and she often asks to “pat pat” it (“Our Wady”). Sometimes she wakes up asking to pat pat her.

“Grace Wacy. Shannon.” Whenever I ask Edith what her name is, she answers with her middle and last name and then immediately after says my name. At lunch today, she even added “Travis” to her list. Hilarious.

“Ride bike.” Edith has a family heirloom—a little red indoor tricycle with rubber wheels—and enjoys giving various things rides on her bike. This morning it was John Henry’s pacifier. “Paci ride bike,” and she placed it on the seat and started pushing it around.

“Hi ______.” Whenever Edith learns a new object or even when she is identifying ones she already knows, she usually says hello to them, accompanied by a wave. Today it was “Hi, pot.” “Hi, squirrel.” “Hi, vacuum.”

“Make dough?” Edith is scared of things that make loud noises like the vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, and the mixer. She recently overcame her fear of the mixer and now every time she sees it, she asks me to make dough. I have been making dough weekly for Saturday pizza night and always give her a little bit that she then carries around the house for the rest of the day—likely the highlight of her day.

“Eyes. Head. Nose.” Edith randomly starts into naming body parts throughout the day. At lunch we were observing the fat squirrel (the only visitor to our new bird feeder…wah) and started naming its facial features. My favorite, though, was last night when she was standing next to John Henry in his swing, just looking at him. Then she patted him and said “head,” then “eyes,” then “nose,” then craned her neck around to the other side of him to find his “ears.”

“A. B. C. 1. 2. 3.” Yesterday Edith shocked me by saying “three” after I said “one, two,” and she also surprised my by naming the letters, in order, through “f.” Where this girl picks these things up, I have no idea.

“Mommy? Daddy?” Still the best thing to hear. Her inflection of most words makes everything sound like a question, which is even better. We love being this little girl’s mommy and daddy.