Sometimes the days pass in a blur. I think of the rhythm and intensity of being with children 24/7. Perhaps it seems more intense, now that we have stopped our once-a-week part-time domestic help. Yet, the bathrooms and floors have never been cleaner since we ditched half-past-six shoddy cleaning by an outsider. And we have learned something more about unifying as a family to plug the gaps and finding pleasure in simple things.
Roo. You helped me wash the rice today, standing tiptoe and giggling when we were done. And then, out in the garden, you carried the rice water in a green pail and watered the plants so carefully. I love watching you learn how to feed our soil with good things. From your work table, numbering colourful counters out loud, you recognise the smell of bokashi tea even as it drifts out of the kitchen while I’m emptying the bokashi bin. I hear you exclaim, “Bokashi!” The word sounds like heavenly music when you say it.
Piglet. We can do magic with blocks, can’t we? We built our very own farmhouse, complete with a barn and nearby lake. Wild deer live among the tall trees on our land, including swinging monkeys and birds that visit our farm every day. You planned it all out as seriously as you fold the laundry every evening at chore time. Remember that morning when it rained and you stayed home from school because of a cold? You helped me re-pot a little brinjal plant and wouldn’t let a little drizzle stop you from harvesting kangkung.
Lamb. “How was your day?” you ask me regularly enough. Sometimes, I think you see my feelings more clearly than I’m aware of them. You’ve been trying to memorise those complicated drum beats, but returning to piano playing with a short, simple duet with me has rejuvenated our music lessons at home. Laughing over a jolly piece played together after dinner clean-up is a lovely way to bring the evening to a close.
Puppy. You watched the garlic pips grow roots in water, our first experiment at planting garlic. I’m hoping we get some gigantic bulbs and reduce our spending at the market since we eat so much of it. You’re old enough now to understand more about why we watch our budget closely, and you don’t seem to mind a bit not having as much as your other friends do. I’m glad to see you take over washing your own bathroom with a good attitude. Your diligence warms my heart.