So you may have noticed that this blog has been quiet a while. Only now am I understanding what almost every friend who has slightly older kids has meant when they’ve said ‘forget the toddler years, it’s as they get older that they need you more.’
The reason I’ve not been writing is because I’ve simply been needed more. I’m really lucky to be able to flex my working life around my boys, but still, working school hours on more days than not lately has made it a challenge to meet deadlines – they are SO short. I think I’m getting used to it, but here we are – half term just behind us and it’s Bonfire this week and then Chr…(sorry, I can’t).
Anyway, I’ll continue tapping this post out just to flex my blogging fingers again and in the hopes that someone out there is still reading. There will be some more posts coming out soon, I promise. But while I’ve been on an unscheduled and unannounced break, I have of course been reading around the web. So, like when I take scheduled and announced breaks, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve been looking at.
This article on the importance of daydreaming to kids’ brains and development was sent to me in a roundup of articles by Tinybop (who I once blogged about, remember?). It me by the throat. Turns out thinking about nada is just brilliant for your brain.
Before I had children, I used to wake up of a morning and ‘have a morning think’. I have missed those pre-day pauses since the boys came along, but from reading this it turns out I’m having them without realising, as I often come to my senses long before the alarm goes off and mull away in the darkness behind my airline mask and in the silence between my earplugs, pretending to myself that I’m asleep.
Sometimes I think about lists. Sometimes I think about things I want to write about on this blog. Sometimes I think about boy stuff (not the exciting, heart-tripping kind – come on! – the ‘how can I understand my sons better’ kind). Often I think of things that are stressing the shit out of me. But sometimes – rarely – my brain just trips blithely along a mental street of whatever.
Tomorrow morning I’ll be thinking guiltily about all the times I’ve told my sons to ‘stop dilly dallying’ or to ‘wake up’, and how I ask them that crap question women have been asking men since time’s dawn: “What are you thinking about?”. But unlike when I ask my husband the same, I’ll be pleased when they say “nothing”.
Because isn’t it a rare luxury being able to daydream? Kids should be able to do it while they still find it easy to have entirely aimless thoughts – especially when it’s so good for their grey matter when they do. When I have the chance to do it myself, I daydream about a time when I could think about nothing at all. So I’m really pleased to have read this piece by Jessica Lahey. It makes me feel good about saying to my eldest when he says he can’t get to sleep (a porkie, he’s only trying to get me back in the room so he can talk to me): “Just think of nice things that we’ve done and wonderful places we’ve been, and get lost in those thoughts.”
This is the best way to keep in touch with old friends and family – and to do it by talking! My cousin in Vancouver and I have been doing it once a week since we both read it – and we never keep it to five minutes, of course! But good to know there’s zero pressure to stay on the line when we have stuff to do…
Oh and, pretty as it all is, there’s a reason why Little Lewes’s Pinterest link leads you to, like, three scant boards. My studio mate L sent me this brilliant New York Times piece after we shared a little rant at work about Instagram’s wash of clovers, autumn leaves, and perfect bleached pebbles artfully lined up on distressed zinc worktops and pure white mantelpieces. I don’t think I could cope with the perfection displayed as whole BOARDS on Pinterest, so I simply don’t partake. But I know enough about it to laugh bellyfuls at this.
Speaking of objects artfully arranged on marble, you won’t believe what that object above centre is. It’s a new idea for a device that nudges and pokes and pushes notifications at you and generally bothers you exactly NOT AT ALL. Brandchannel.com gives us this on it: ‘designed to look like an old-fashioned pocket watch, it’s a smartphone/wearable tech hybrid. Its round screen enables web browsing, photo taking and voice calls – but won’t accept apps, and it won’t ring or vibrate to alert the wearer.’ I like the name too: Runcible.
Reading back over this post, I think switching off could be my life’s theme right now – I’m using every device and social media outlet less and less, and am increasingly attaching myself to what’s actually real. I hope this is the start of a worldwide movement. Without suggesting that I’m some kind of maverick, maybe my own state of mind is an indication that we’re all going to disconnect in order to reconnect. What do you think?
Anyway, I’ve been reading and looking at more than this, but realise I’ve had verbal diarrhoea in this post, probably from not writing Little Lewes enough, and so now it is too long and you’ve probably not even read as far as here, so I’m just talking to myself.
So thanks for reading, Kate!
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