Spring Cleaning with a Higher Purpose

Yesterday was report-writing day for Lou. She has a rough draft of a geography report due on Monday. It's a big project requiring concentrated time at the table. After I helped her color-code her notes to match her travel itinerary/outline, I quietly stepped away to let her writing become her own.

While it was clear I could (and should) step away, it was also clear that she needed my presence. So, I stepped back and began to clean the kitchen.

And I cleaned, and I cleaned, and I cleaned.

All the corners of my kitchen.

As I quietly scrubbed the cupboards, Lou would pipe up with a little comment or question about what she was writing. I would reply, or join in a little brainstorm, and then we'd both get back to our work.

It was a companionable time. And, as I scrubbed, I thought about how similar this was to when the girls were doing the "work of play" when they were younger.

The very best play came when I was busy about the house. My energy provided a bit of security that let them just disappear into their own imaginary worlds. I do miss their Old Fashioned Play.

Even as teens, my form-my presence-my energy, gives them freedom.

It's spring cleaning with a higher purpose!


ps: I also spring-cleaned my blog which now is reorganized and has a whole new look. Click on over and tell me what you think! (and Mom, by this post, I bet you can guess...I submitted my grant!)

Linda  – (March 21, 2010 at 8:55 AM)  

Your blog is looking wonderful:) I love the changes you have made. I really enjoyed reading this post.

kristin  – (March 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM)  

i just had a peek around Sara and it all looks so good! a reminder to me that is something i desperately want to do with my own space.

i love this post...as we are still at the stage where my boys' "work" is their play, i love to hear how you've all transitioned now that the girls are older, but the basic lesson is still the same.

it's so fascinating for me to see how well my boys play while i work, but the moment the phone rings, it snaps them out of their "work" and sends them right into my lap.

and your kitchen...well, it looks GREAT! :)

Dawn  – (March 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM)  

The new look of your blog looks great! I've noticed this same phenomenon in my home when I keep myself busy around the house.

willowcaroline  – (March 21, 2010 at 12:00 PM)  

Wonderful spring cleaning effort.. need to dust off mine as well.

We are in the same stage.. if I work quietly nearby, they are more focused and centered and assured, whatever they are doing.

softearthart  – (March 21, 2010 at 1:52 PM)  

Hi from New Zealand, What a lovely kind Mother you are, to be near,but not too near. love and light Marie

Lovely World  – (March 21, 2010 at 4:15 PM)  

Your blog looks just beautiful, as do the corners of your kitchen. I like having my kids doing their schoolwork in the kitchen as well.

K.  – (March 21, 2010 at 5:42 PM)  

I sympathize with Lou as I spent my entire weekend preparing to teach Charlemagne to 6th graders this week.

I love how they need us near but not on top of them. My younger one especially (not a teen yet) happily plays as long as someone is physically near. And I love to listen in and see what she's up to.

Suse  – (March 21, 2010 at 8:21 PM)  

I clicked through! I don't do that often enough, but I'm nearly always here, reading.

I like the new look, and well done on getting the grant application in. I'm in the middle of an essay myself.

Redbeet Mama  – (March 21, 2010 at 8:54 PM)  

Thank you for this post - how wonderful I feel after reading it.
Your a wonderful and present Mama - and it is all that I wish for from me to my little ones.

Thank you for the encouragement.

L, N

Susan  – (March 23, 2010 at 8:45 AM)  

I love your blog's new look! It's so nice to clean things up at this time of year. I so enjoy peaking into your home: cooking, playing, learning, working, and growing together; happy, productive family!

renee ~ heirloom seasons  – (March 23, 2010 at 10:26 PM)  

I love spring cleaning! Actually I am a big fan of all kinds of seasonal cleaning...
I think your blog very nice!
Happy new spring season to you all!

Nan  – (March 26, 2010 at 12:53 PM)  

Your blog and your kitchen look great! Calm, centered, just right. I remember this when my kids were little. What do kids do whose parents aren't there?

Penny  – (March 31, 2010 at 8:34 AM)  

This is how a lot of our homeschooling days go, although sometimes I could clean a little more diligently...

Your home posts are always so calm and lovely Sarah, I salute you! :)

karuncho  – (April 1, 2010 at 6:06 PM)  

Hello, I´m Karin, from Argentina and i speak inglis very little, but i´m waldorf mama, my soon school,s name is aurora we have a blog it is http://escuelaauroraeducacionwaldorf.blogspot.com
I want link yuor blog please answer me if you ok. Thanks Karin My mail is nataliohermes@yahoo.com.ar

Nicole Spring (Frontier Dreams)  – (April 5, 2010 at 1:06 AM)  

Thanks for stopping by my little blog! :) Love the pics, this was great to read :)

kathy  – (April 5, 2010 at 3:36 PM)  

It looks great.. gosh I need to spring clean but that would mean locking up my 2 year old twins somewhere....

http://polwig.com

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