Spring, Books and…the wii??


Spring Magic

The World is very old

But year by year

It groweth new again

When buds appear.


The World is very old,

And sometimes sad;

But when the daisies come

The World is glad.


The World is very old;

But every Spring

It groweth young again,

And fairies sing.


This is a simple little poem by artist, botanist, and poet Ceilcly Mary Barker.  She is the creator of the now fairly  popular Flower Fairies.  This poem comes from a book that has her entire collection, I bought several years ago, called The Deluxe Book of Flower Fairies. Her naturalist-inspired sketches and paintings are so beautiful and sweet.  Her poems too have a child-like innocence, great for children. My girls love this book. For every flower picture, there is a fairy picture, who is in charge of that flower, and a corresponding poem to go with it.  Its very sweet and imaginative, with beautiful pictures.  Her works are a good place to start if you want to introduce poetry to your children.  Sweetness, and the intangible beauty  art,poetry, and books bring to a human soul is pretty lacking in American children's daily lives.

Don't get me wrong, my girls (and myself included)love to plop down on the couch and laugh to the likes of Sponge Bob Squares Pants, and  icarly, or snicker over Junie B Jones books.

My ever musically observant husband made the comment, after watching several episodes of the oldy classics of Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry with the girls (another netflix phenomenon, my girls have never watched them) that those old cartoons, with characters getting smashed with frying pans, and their body parts flying apart every few scenes, were set to classical music.

Listening to classical music is good for the brain, and soothing to the spirit. (Remember the "baby mozart" frenzy of the early 2000s?)

Now all shows and cartoons alike, are set to some horrid teeny pop rock, that is digital set to music, no real instruments to be heard.

 Just an observation.

I do notice a very real difference in behaviour when my girls have been exposed to(and by that I mean zoning out to for hours upon a time) the wii and computer games and TV.

They act out.

Can't deal or rationally cope with any conflict.

Their moodiness increases.

Their attitude stinks.

So why do I continue to let then zone out, you may ask?

Its easier. I admit it.

Those girls are loud, and annoying.  The cute stage is so over.(sigh) I love them dearly, but after a few mintutes I am thinking of things for them to do, anything!

We of course, when we first got the wii, put up all these boundries and limitations on them.

But that does not last.

Our house is crazy and busy.

My 2 year old, 4 year old, ever trashed house,loads of smelly soiled clothes and towels, and the perpetual cycle of feeding 5 other people, keeps me in a constant state of distraction. 

My smart 3rd and 2nd grader know this.

They also know that if they are quiet, I will leave them alone, despite the fact, they did not touch their dinner last night, their homework is not done, and they have yet to put away their laundry.

But lately my kiddos have not wanted to READ at all lately.

That is when those warning bells went off.

I am so thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit who speaks, most urgently, without judgment but truth, to mothers, as we have the over whelming task of making helpless, selfish, children into contributing, caring, adults.

Its like they do not know how to entertain themselves without a screen in front of them.  John Rosemond, child psychologist and author, has written extensively on this modern day struggle and debate of kids, TV, and behavior.  Its his "simple old-fashioned" child rearing and home philosophy that gave me such good footing in those early years, when struggling with the question "How are we supposed to do all this?"

So Big Mamma announced the degree tonight:

Now that Spring is officially here, the wii and netflix instant quue is going bye-bye.

Weekends only; and to be earned.

Yes, yes I know that two paragraphs previous I candidly told you that those guidelines dont ever stay in place.

But all of my girls sat and read tonite, while I vacuumed the usual weekend-worth of filth off the floors. Tim was reading to the baby.

It was wonderful.

Eldest daughter read: Anne of Avonlea

Second born: How to Eat Fried Worms, a classic!

And I must brag on my little sweet four-year-old.

I opted to do a sort of "home-schooled" Pre-k with her this September.( very relaxed home school let me tell you).  And she is doing so well, her and I went to Barnes and Noble and picked out some Level 1: step into reading books.

Basically half-way through Kindergarten books.

I'm so proud of our little Gus! (that is our unflattering nickname for her, based on the fat, slow mouse in Cinderella, I don't know why)

Having kids who  naturally gravitate towards reading, and have minds that are so wired as to grasp it easily is such a blessing. 

I know there are so many good moms out there who work night after night with their young ones, who struggle with reading.  It's a frustration, not a delight; not because their children are not smart, their brains just are wired to look at all those jumble of letters differently.

All that to say:

I need to go back to my un-worldly, anti-cultural, and yes some-what literary snobbish ways, of running my house and raise this gaggle of girls God has given me.

You would not believe when my girls got the BIG CHRISTMAS gift of the wii this year, of how many incredulous comments we got of:
"You don't have one yet?"

And how many more I have heard over the years of, "I just can't get them to read".

I don't know, but to me, those two comments have to have some kind of a connection.

So here is to:

The beauty and enrichment of reading,

The advent of Spring,

That still small voice that speaks to the hearts of all peoples, and I think, especially mothers, as we try to muddle our way through life, without making too big of a mess of it.





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