Losing My Marbles

by Stefani on 28-July-2008

We brought home some marbles today. 


They thought this was great fun. 

I thought it was, well, an apt metaphor for our days. 

They – motion made flesh, laughing, shouting, marveling over their skill, the colors and the speed, the newness, the wonder. 

Taking His Shot

I – worrying about lost pieces, trying to explain the rules of the game, chasing, running in a million directions, striving to keep up, keep it together and finally…

 letting go, giving in, putting aside my preconceived notions to listen, as they show me the new rules, of the new game that is all their own, a game that is 



better than the one that I set out to teach them. 

I’m trying, men. I’m trying to let go, to be okay with losing my marbles, if it means learning to be more like you in the process. 


Erin July 28, 2008 at 8:09 pm

We too recently picked up a package of 115 marbles and why do I know that it is a package of 115? Because I have counted them at least a dozen times to make sure there are still 115 – there are not. At last count there were 112. Not sure why I care if we lose a marble… It is not as if we need 115.

I think tomorrow I will get them down, draw a big circle and see what kinds of games they can invent.

Genevieve July 28, 2008 at 8:09 pm

This looks like so much fun! Some of my best childhood memories are of playing marbles. I cannot wait to introduce them to my boys!

nicole July 28, 2008 at 8:27 pm

my gals too love marbles! they call them
“mar – balls” :0) i crack up everytime they say it! i used to try to correct them , now i go with the flow. you guys will have such awesome memories!
ps – your last few posts were wonderful and the videos were so fun! i’m catching up on reading tonite!

amanda July 28, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Sigh. Marbles! oh goodness…how I wish I could get our boys together. SO MUCH. Dang all those states in between us. 😉

Sarah Jackson July 28, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Love it! I just finished sweeping up our now empty former home and would you like to know what I kept finding? Marbles. Darned concrete floors – they had scooted into every corner of the house. Maybe not this time, I say hopefully.

molly July 28, 2008 at 9:14 pm

have you read cat’s eye by margaret atwood? can’t see marbles without thinking of that book. or the part in amelie about the boy who won all those marbles on the playground.

we just brought home a wooden “motion factory” from my aunt’s house. can’t wait to set up marble runs.

don’t loose all of your marbles.

Lynn July 28, 2008 at 10:13 pm

How fun! I loved playing marbles as a kid. Your pictures of your kids are so great! I love the different angles you’ve taken. I love your blog and it gives me great ideas of new things to try with my boys! Thanks!

brit July 28, 2008 at 10:56 pm

so well put…and so true.

Jacinda July 29, 2008 at 1:09 am

Yes, your words so resonate with my learning in letting go, listening, watching and sometimes letting go again.

dana July 29, 2008 at 4:44 am

Love the photography in this post. Great DOF and lighting.

Courtney July 29, 2008 at 5:13 am

What *amazing* photos these are! Absolutely breathtaking!

Mandy July 29, 2008 at 5:58 am

Man I loved to play marbles on the porch of our farmhouse growing up! And don’t even get me started on jacks!

Our Green Nest July 29, 2008 at 5:59 am

Beautiful shots!

Ellie - Petalplum July 29, 2008 at 6:22 am

Beautiful photos – love the shadows and sparkling light.
It doesn’t matter if they roll under the cupboard, or you almost fall over stepping on one. As long as the children have learnt to count, or roll or share or build marble runs out of toilet-paper-rolls. Or had fun! Marbles sure are great fun, aren’t they?

Heather July 29, 2008 at 6:56 am

My sister was just recounting her foibles with marbles as we discussed the need to just “let go.” We are helping one another remember that childhood is not preparation for living, it is living…is isn’t preparation for adulthood, it is it’s own time and full of wonder excitement and lost marbles.

Lasso the Moon July 29, 2008 at 7:09 am

great lesson for us moms, huh? Love your photos.

Lisa Clarke July 29, 2008 at 7:12 am

That’s a tough one for me, too – letting go of the rules in order to let them play their way. I always want to do things the way you’re “supposed to” even though, quite often, the rules they come up with are much more interesting 🙂

Carolyn July 29, 2008 at 8:23 am

Your pictures are awesome!

Sarah July 29, 2008 at 8:28 am

I love these shots of your boys playing new games. It’s a good reminder for us to let go, have fun, and play by new rules!

The Mommy July 29, 2008 at 11:18 am

I have a hard time letting go too. Even with my 12 year old! She kills me sometimes wanting to do so much, and I just LOVE to take over. I know that I need to just sit back and let my children learn and explore on their own…but sometimes it’s a challenge.

As far as marbles go, I remember my dad having an old pickle jar filled with vintage marbles. He rarely let me play with them, but when he did…sitting next to me all the while keeping an eye on each one as it left the jar and passed through my little fingers, it was bliss.

katiemae July 29, 2008 at 11:56 am

I love your words on letting go and the rhythm in which you write this. Trying to work on the same each day. My little one and I have been playing marbles as well and she’s fashioned her own game for us. The photo is wonderful too. We’ve been studying the gorgeous colors and designs in our set which is such a fun activity in itself!

hanna July 29, 2008 at 1:43 pm

Yes, so well said. I need to do this too, let go a bit, let the chaos reign a bit. Just go with the new fascination of pulling all the lids off the pens and stop collecting them up and putting them back on again all day – who cares if the pens dry out, we can always buy more. The lids are fun and bright and colourful and fit into the little fist so well and look so pretty clustered together in cups and bowls and nooks around the house.

melissa s. July 29, 2008 at 2:01 pm

ahh so true. i often wonder who is doing the most learning around here – my kids learning about the world or me learning to just let go. beautiful marble shots!

Suzanne July 29, 2008 at 2:56 pm

I cannot tell you how happy I am to have discovered you and your blog today. Thank you for sharing!

Julie Alvarez July 29, 2008 at 3:36 pm

You are great, Stefani. So caring and loving. And so honest. I am like you, hard to let go. I remember that on your post about the glitter and the mess… But we try, at least. Glad you had fun!

heather July 29, 2008 at 4:01 pm

marbles! you know, oddly we don’t play it much in the summer. we play it a lot in the winter, fireside. it’s actually kind of a tradition, when the fire is lit the marbles come out. but we should play it more in the summer, yes we should.

that first photo is amazing by the way!

Jules July 29, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Thanks again for saying just what I needed to hear at just the right moment. ps I LOVE LOVE LOVE the 2nd pic.

Molly July 29, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Wow, what a wonderful post! Beautiful writing and photos. Just great!

Alison July 29, 2008 at 5:08 pm

What a thoughtful post. The second photo is dynamite. Good eye.

wesleyjeanne July 29, 2008 at 6:52 pm

Lovely lovely post, Beautiful photos.

molly July 29, 2008 at 8:17 pm

okay, that second picture? holy.moly. my new favorite. amazing.

elissa July 30, 2008 at 5:38 pm

YES YES YES!!! to everything in this post. swooning over these pics and boy oh boy do i often need my kids to help me lost my marbles! then again, sometimes they do a little TOO good a job! 😉

Relyn August 4, 2008 at 2:22 pm

What a perfect metaphor inside a metaphor. This is the most perfect analogy of good parenting. We must be willing to loose our marbles so that we can become more like our children. You’ve got it. Exactly right. What blessed little men you are raising.

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