of a moody Sunday

It’s been a hard day. Tantrums (not mine) (mostly) before six a.m. are a sure-fire indicator that it’s going to be a no good, very bad day. And it was, for a good while, and then off and on for a bunch more hours. The cycle went something like this: blow up, work it through, simmer…and then do it all over again, yay! And while all that was going on, there were meals to fix, eat, and clean up after, buses and taxis to ride, groceries to purchase, and church to attend. It was not easy, pretty, or nice.

Mid afternoon, things mellowed out a little. There was a peppy little breeze dancing down the porch. My older daughter pulled one of the mouse-eaten chairs out there for her rest time (there was no way on earth those girls could’ve co-existed in their hot little bedroom for 30 seconds, let alone a whole hour), but then she got busy with other things and I plunked myself down in the chair to read a magazine while sipping an iced coffee in an old jelly jar (brand: Anna Belly; flavor: strawberry) .

From the party house down yonder came the lilting sounds of a marimba band. When they played Ya Queremos Pastel (We Want Cake), I joined in, much to my family’s annoyance. From a slightly different direction, there came the sound of a long-winded church service—the PLUNK-plunk-PLUNK-plunk-plunk-PLUNK of the bass and the nasal shrill of the lead singer into the mic.

(Note to self: we have got to find a couple of hammocks and hang them up that porch. It’s the place to be on a sweltering, evil-mooded Sunday.)

Anyway, my older daughter got it into her head to build a little house in the dirt along the edge of the porch.

One thing led to another, and soon I was weaving dry leaves for a roof (or a floor mat) and she was soaking leaves for some thatch.

My youngest son got out his cars and made a road.

Flowers were collected and replanted, holes were dug, steps built.

I just happened to click over to my friend’s blog, and, wouldn’t you know, she had just done a post on Fairy Houses! I showed the kids and the plot thickened.

After a bit, my older son, husband, and visiting brother left to go “help” the neighbors harvest snails. (Or fish.) (Or something aquatic.) I set my younger daughter up at the computer to tool around the American Doll website. My younger son stuffed a rag with a banana and jocote (a fruit I haven’t told you about yet), tied it to the end of a headless broom, and trekked on down to the ponds. Her computer time up, my younger daughter soon followed.

I ate a mango and snapped photos and typed this post, and still, my older daughter is hard at work, creating. Her creative calm helps me settle. Her total absorption is a balm for my wrung-out self. So, despite it being a (mostly) perfectly horrible day, the afternoon, I’m relieved to say, is shaping up to be pretty near perfect.

I am not, however, placing any bets on the evening…


After writing this, my daughter came in to my room and demanded I go take some more pictures.

Her project was complete: flowers everywhere, lit votives, and a cross to top it all off with.

Can you tell that my children attend a Catholic school and it’s Holy Week?


  • Laurie Longenecker

    This post has so much going on that I really resonate with. I love the fairy house, but more than that I love that you capture the mundane moments of your life. The jelly jar cup for your tea (YES!), the kids trying to have quiet time in a hot bedroom…it isn't all adventure every second. Sunday–the day that made me feel more homesick than any other day of the week.

  • gaylene

    That is so creative! My kids love making houses out of the things they find in the yard, but ours never looked that good 🙂

  • Mama Pea

    Ha! In our house it's sometimes hard enough to juggle the moods, personalities, needs, wants and desires of two mature (another ha!) adults. I can totally understand how the situation would quickly (and probably often) become combustible with four kids thrown into the mix especially while living in the unique circumstances you are. Once again, thanks for sharing the real life. Sending a hug.

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