My sister is about to have a baby boy; my friend Bonnie, whom I mentioned in an earlier post, is now past her due date. I think this is why I have babies on my mind.

When I was a new mom to Carter, we received all the usual baby gifts–little booties, fleece blankets (he was a winter baby). A fuzzy teddy bear, a hardback copy of Winnie the Pooh. Some of the gifts came from a husband and wife whose children I babysat when I was a girl; one of the things they sent was a set of wooden letters that spelled C-A-R-T-E-R. I used to line up the letters on the bookcase every night, touching each one of them, arranging them just so.

The thought of it makes me smile, now. My days of arranging bookcases and letters are behind me. Our house, with three children, two cats and a dog, is full of “comfortable clutter.” I like it better this way; to me, it feels like a place where people are busy living. It feels like a home.

I found the wooden letters this morning, or what was left of them. One of the children had arranged them in a line, E-T-C. I picked each one up and touched it again, remembering those early months as a new mom, when I was trying to find my way. It seemed so important that I get every detail right.

The little things don’t matter so much to me, anymore. The beside-the-point things, the et cetera things. It’s a good feeling, being able to sometimes let go. It’s a skill my children taught me, and then this morning, helped me see it.

11 thoughts on “Etc.

  1. Jennifer,
    April 10th is National Siblings Day. I am tagging you to write about your kid’s unique sibling relationship this week. If you like, you can have your kid’s write it for you.

  2. I’ve heard this said before: when your first child spits his pacifier out on the floor, you sterilize it by boiling it for 3 minutes…when your second child does it, you rinse it under hot water…when your third drops it, you pop it in your own mouth for a quick rinse and then give it back to him…

    How true that is! I’ve learned how to chill much better with Paige – she came with a big heaping dose of “don’t sweat the small stuff”

  3. Beautiful! I completely agree! Sometimes you lose sight of just living, savoring the moments, when you are all caught up in the details of trying to insure it is perfect. Perfection often resides in those moments of everyday clutter and chaos.

  4. Oh, I love it. ETC. It’s funny how, with your first child, things have to be just so. Then the second comes along, and you’re more concerned with the big things; how to help your first child accept his sibling, how to handle the logistics of two little ones. You just don’t have time to care about decorating the nursery, you know? Like you said, you’re just too busy living.

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