They Sparkle

by Stefani on 20-May-2008

I'm going to have to do some confessing. I think it will make us both feel better.  

I haven't been myself lately. 

The husband  (I will fully admit that he is my right hand. If he did not work from home I think I'd go completely crazy) had a long business trip a couple of weeks back. Then he was sick, then he had some business people in town. It seems like it's just been one thing after another. Throw on top of that some stress about the market and what it might mean for his job and well, we've just been a few degrees off track. We've been like a pot on the verge of boiling over, bubbling, rising.

It's nothing too serious, really, but I've found myself seeing recent days as something to get through and my children as things to be managed, messes to be cleaned, a series of fires to put out. That isn't what I want for them or for me.

So, when I picked up sweet Amanda's book, The Creative Family it was as though a dear friend was standing in my kitchen, holding my hand and saying, "take a deep breath, it's gonna be alright."

So much of her dear, warm, gentle book speaks to how our family lives – valuing creativity and time together, honoring traditions, finding inspiration in nature – so of course, I love the book, but not only for the content. I love it for the (ahem) soul behind it. It is truly an outflowing of the kindness, gentleness and mindfulness that is the Soule family. It has been just the quiet voice that I needed to hear. 

Early today, feeling a little sour and looking for some inspiration, I turned to the Creative Family and I read a few sentences about not worrying too much about the mess, about letting go and going where the spirit of creativity led. 

It led me right to the glitter. 

My guys made paper mache egyptian burial masks a week or so ago (after reading about King Tut), and they've been ready for days now to paint and decorate them.

Making Masks

They were shocked when I brought out the much beloved, but VERY rarely seen, glitter. 

I'm not one to get worked up over messes. I don't shy away from potentially messy projects, but glitter… the stuff gets in EVERYTHING. It spreads like a sparkly virus. For weeks on end you find it stuck to you, in your food, on your furniture, EVERYWHERE! I am not a fan of glitter in the hands of small children. Not. A. Fan. 

So, bringing out the glitter was an act of faith on my part. It was my way of saying that I was willing to experience some fun, enjoy the moment and let go of some of the adult worries and stresses. Just be. 

My boys were all too willing to oblige. 

At first they painted their masks, according to plan.

Burial Mask

Then they got a little more creative.

Ahhhhh Glitter!

And then all hell broke loose.

Sparkles

My internal mommy, the one who has been pretty darn crabby lately, wanted to say, "NO NO NO!!!!", but thankfully, I managed to just go with it and let them explore the wonder of being shiny. 

This one, he had it in his bellybutton, his ears, between his toes, and stuck in his hair and eyelashes. I just let him do it. I stood back and watched as he deliberately coated himself in silver.

Then he looked at me, and he smiled and he said, "I sparkle Mama!" I just about cried, because he does. 

He really does. 

Whatever the rest of the day brought, for that moment, we sparkled, we four. 

The rest of the day was not perfect. I'm still working my way out of my rut. My attitude is still a little rough around the edges (and let me tell you that it's contagious), but here's the thing…

for the next few months, I'm going to find glitter in the strangest places. It's going to pop up at odd moments, and I"m glad of that, because I know that it's going to bring a smile. That delicious moment is going to reach into days far from now and remind me that my life, even when it's messy, is pretty sparkly too.

Glitter In the Sun

dianeinjapan May 20, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Won’t your little guy love that photo of his glittered-up self a few years from now? And what memories it’ll bring back for you! I’m reading The Creative Family right now, too, and I so agree with what you said about the “soul” in it. But sorry you’ve been going through a rough patch lately! Hope you’ll find many opportunities to sparkle!

Jules May 20, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Thankyou….
Your words were just what I needed to hear today.
“Then he looked at me, and he smiled and he said, “I sparkle Mama!” and I just about cried, because he does. He really does. ” – well I did cry. Because my boy too does sparkle. Even when I’m tired or grumpy or bored or lonely, my boy too does sparkle. So thanks for reminding me.
x

Angela May 20, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Another lovely, thought-provoking post. Even in a rut, you always inspire me. Hang in there.

Thanks, again for taking the time to answer my email–Zilker was a huge hit. The Zephyr and the Dino Pit at the Science Center were the two favorites of the day…and boy was it ever hot! But we had a blast!

brit May 20, 2008 at 9:26 pm

This post reminded me of this song. And how much I love it…..and how it makes me feel so peaceful, in a groovy way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJsrz4NQr18

Annie May 20, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this. I needed this reminder, and it was so beautifully written…I teared up a tiny bit.

kort May 20, 2008 at 10:33 pm

lovely lovely post. thank you. we could all use a little glitter.

Mariah May 21, 2008 at 3:36 am

Nothing like money stuff to confuse and dismay. I’m right there with you with a husband in search of a job.

Reading your blog this morning was like salve. Thanks much.

Adrienne May 21, 2008 at 3:50 am

Ahhh …. God Bless you and yours. What a wonderful messy time you had. Inspiration for us all.

krisitn May 21, 2008 at 4:44 am

wow did i NEED this post. i too fall into these ruts not being who i want to be for them, or myself. and i can imagine your face when those sparkles appear (and you are so right they will) and it will take you right back to the happy day and his words “i sparkle momma”. thank you.

kelly May 21, 2008 at 4:59 am

don’t we all have these moments…days…weeks..:) makes the sweet times so much sweeter – thanks for sharing
xo

emily May 21, 2008 at 5:57 am

i need you to be sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear sometimes.

molly May 21, 2008 at 6:02 am

oh how I know this. so well. especially lately. I have a feeling, just like the words of amanda’s book, this post will be ringing in my ears over the next few weeks….

amanda May 21, 2008 at 6:14 am

oh, hon. you are so dear. thanks for the sweet words. and I am nodding my head to so much here today – the funk, the need to let the little lead the way, and the fear of glitter (I don’t love glitter! but they do, of course!). Hugs to you and your guys today!

Grace May 21, 2008 at 7:59 am

I know that rut of which you speak. My attitude has been a little bit rough around the edges for the last week or so, too. My kids came down with viruses yesterday, though, so maybe it’s just that there’s been some sickness brewing.

Anyway, fantastic post and photos!

melissa s. May 21, 2008 at 8:48 am

Oh I know those ruts so well. And I so agree with you that Amanda’s book and blog have an amazing way of making you feel so connected and cared for.

Your sparkly guy reminded me that my 4-year-old told me his favorite color was “sparkly” the other day.

Hugs to you!

Aunt LoLo May 21, 2008 at 11:14 am

I don’t know if I have tears in my eyes because I’m 10 weeks pregnant, or if it’s because (after an hour of singing) my toddler just FINALLY sang herself to sleep…but your babies sparkle. I might have done that project outside…maybe on a raft…in the lake. But that picture of your baby’s sparkly belly button is PRICELESS. Good job, Mama. Oh, and a Swiffer might get up the worst of it. I’ve also had AMAZING luck with their little dusters. Those suckers have POWERful good sticky qualities!

Sally May 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm

One of my favourtie posts is Amanda’s breathe..and now your sparkle post. Some days we do need that reminder to just breathe and let our little ones sparkle. I am that stressed mother at the moment – what with relocating overseas, a partner who is often away, a house that we are selling, a new job starting, an old job finishing, packing and rainy weather! Our house is a mess, I am tired but other day a relative stranger commented how happy my boys always looked (that was my bit of sparkle)..just breathe.

Farm Chick May 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Just the other day I did a Joy Rush list; A list of things that bring me a little rush of joy. Sparkly kids are now added to that list. What a beautiful, insightful, inspiring post.

wesleyjeanne May 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Oh my, this post makes me cry. I am so in a funk lately and not sure why. my poor girls are suffering for it.
Thanks for inspiring me to see the sparkle.
Tomorrow will be better–tomorrow I will let go.

lina May 21, 2008 at 6:41 pm

Sorry you’ve had a tough time of it lately. Totally hear you on the glitter – I’ve always thought it was reserved for playgroups!

happymamaoff3 May 21, 2008 at 6:48 pm

looks like you had so much fun!! i need to get my hands on her book in so many ways :0)

happymamaoff3 May 21, 2008 at 6:48 pm

looks like you had so much fun!! i need to get my hands on her book in so many ways :0)

3Wildtrout May 21, 2008 at 7:46 pm

I love your blog, you writing & your style! I’m so happy to have discovered you and will check in from time to time. You put it all into perspective so eloquently~thank you for sharing your “sparkle moment”!

Anne May 21, 2008 at 9:15 pm

You are a brave woman with all that glitter..I hope your rut ends soon.

Lynn May 21, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Oh, that picture! With the little tummy and the marveling at the hands! And then the wonderment expressed in that statement! The tears are pricking at my eyes, too.

Thank you for zooming right in on what matters. I will remember this tomorrow when my own internal crab threatens to cast a pall over my boys’ day.

Berlinswhimsy May 21, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Oh yes, I feel your glitter pain! I must stifle a groan when my kids rush out to the car with a glitter-filled project to bring home—and yes, it gets on EVERYTHING!

I hope you find a lot more fun projects to keep you smiling. I hear you on the rut issue—been in my own over here, too!

Lesley May 22, 2008 at 12:33 am

Most excellent. We can all stand to be reminded to err on the side of glitter.

Denise May 22, 2008 at 6:53 am

I just discovered your lovely blog. Will be back. I like to let my boys sparkle shine through too. 🙂

miss chris May 22, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Ruts. We have ’em. Congrats on seeing the sparkle, though.

Reminds me of a similar moment 9 years ago. At the time I was a divorced mom with a 3 year old living away from family. Life was hard. One day we were walking through town and I was worrying about rent and dinner and how cold it was getting and whether we should have turned around and just called it a night, and my little one looked up at me and said “mommy, look! There are sparkles in the sidewalk!” And I cried. Because she was so right. And I held her hand a little tighter and we danced on the sparkles.

melmo May 22, 2008 at 9:04 pm

i’ve been having a bit of a grumpy past weeks myself. totally relate to a lot of what you said. love the sparkly analogy. awesome.

Claudia May 22, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Thank you for your honesty. As a homeschooling mom, a lot of days are rutty for me. But then I think of the alternative and I remember why the Lord blessed me with these two boys! I think I better get right on over to the book store and pick up Amanda’s book. If it’s anything like her blog – I’m sure I will love it too.

rachel May 30, 2008 at 6:49 am

Just found your blog through OMSH!

this series of glitter pictures are stunning for some reason – you really captured the magic of it. great job letting your kids just enjoy it all! i especially adore the last one.

caroline June 2, 2008 at 9:11 am

Beautiful pics! Thanks for the quality moment reality check. Sometimes I need a reminder. Today, in particular! HA!

Once after a glitter day, I found it in my daughter’s diaper. It had taken the long way.

Tiffany June 6, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Wow! I absolutely love the little glitter man. You are such an inspiration for Homeschooling, blogging, and mothering. 🙂 You have blessed me AND my boys today. I saw the picture of James? building the tinker toy/ marble run/domino THING and it made me realize how uptight I have been lately.( possibly because I have just had a baby 🙂 ) I need to let my hair down and just let it be! Thank you for inspiring me to just be.

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