Sunday, June 12, 2011 • 9:38 AM Comments ()

Some Basics

posted by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sticking close to home this weekend, I have been sleeping. I logged eight hours-ish of sleep on Friday, and a little more on Saturday. If you’ve been reading about our household’s spring, you know that sleep hasn’t been our most abundant commodity. You know bedtime has presented some, well, difficulty (turmoil, purgatory analogies, take your pick).

I have continued cleaning. There’s something about clearing out the old that makes home feel better (duh) and is suddenly, swollen eye still healing and all (Remy’s pinkeye wasn’t pinkeye, simply allergies and Saskia’s mosquito-bitten eye is back to rights) feeling very much like the place I need to be. Today, I’m going to match as many socks in the bin of discarded solo socks from laundry baskets gone by as I can and toss the rest. Radical (for a green-leaning gal)! The surest sign that I’m where I need to be is that I am not feeling antsy or bored by the process of clearing through detritus (and actual, useful things).

Many thoughts flying about Saskia and bedtime—enough to say, this coming week I plan to write about just that: bedtime (subtitle: how seasoned parents totally blew it since the crib side went away).

As for the rest of our collective sleep issues, I’m determined about these two things: 1) that we are all sleeping better by summer’s end and 2) that I take the feeling I carried at the end of the week with sty in eye (scared, it coming on the heels of a weeks-long cough) to slow myself down and regroup over the coming months. I want to reach the random markers of my birthday in August and school beginning again feeling a whole lot better (more rested, less frazzled, just better) than I do now. Remy told a friend he was gladder the car nearly hit him this past week than me because “my mom takes care of me.” If that doesn’t make a mama want to feel really strong, I don’t know what would do it.


Although I was seriously bummed that I couldn’t go see the Nields play at the Iron Horse for their 20th anniversary celebration, I was so glad to go to the morning concert with Saskia and Arella (and Arella’s mama). I’ve long loved the Nields’ music and totally groove on their children’s music that’s not just for kids to enjoy.

One of the best parts of living here these days with a small child is the vast wealth of great stuff to do with her. You can be a much more satisfied culture vulture now than a decade ago (not that there weren’t some great things, but there were also some sexist puppet shows from hell, too many of them, which I watched with kids on lap and critique running through overtired head). The Kindie music scene is really the main reason why it’s so good to be here now with small child. I did run into one friend whose kids are my older two kids’ ages (roughly) and she was solo. Katryna’s a friend and this was the one moment she had free to see an event during their big weekend, so she sat there, swaying, happily. The concert was that good. You didn’t require a child whatsoever.

There was one picture I wish I’d been able to take (but Saskia was on my lap) and that was Nerissa singing with Lila in her arms, their faces smushed close—and nearly identical. The photo I would have wanted to stage was that with Nerissa’s mom close as well, like a matched set of identical faces through time.

During the concert, the thought of Saskia and Arella forming their own girl band someday was hard to resist (the Relle Relles?). They were dancing happily (as they did at the neighborhood talent show last weekend). The best not-blurry photo of the girls I got captured them in the crowd. The one that went nutty really got the feeling of Arella moving—and her current love of dancing—best.

Meantime, my pal, Amy wrote about seeing the sisters perform for adults and how the experience of seeing them performing—and living their adult lives together—made her think of how she hopes her daughters—sisters—could enjoy that.

Recently, I’ve been feeling exceedingly grateful about how much my kids are enjoying one another. And I definitely thought of that during the morning concert, how thrilled I’d be for my kids to live life together—in whatever ways—as adults (the “cousins,” too, Arella and her sister, Emily). Having people close enough to collaborate with—in work, in trading kids around as needed, in whatever ways—it’s really the nectar in life, not always easy, but finally, so very sweet.

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Some Basics
Hard Farewells
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