little ones, motherhood, stray thoughts
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The stack


A lovely weekend. B’s birthday & we milk it for all it’s worth: dinner out on Friday; the first picnic of the year (yes, really! see the blue sky & sun in the photos!) at an Iron Age hill fort on Saturday; and a trip to a hands-on science centre on Sunday (The Biscuit: “This is the best day of my life. Ever.”).

Still with the something small, every day. But the small is starting to get to me. That thread of writing weaving through the days makes me aware of how little I’m doing. What can come of it?, I start to wonder. I know that this is the practice, to feel that and just sit with it. To remember that it may be small, but it is at least something. That one day there will be time for more.

Hill fort view

Continuing the frustration, I seem to be reading about five books at once and I haven’t finished one yet this year. Meanwhile, both the literal piles of books around the house and the list of books that I plan to read next or soon or immediately seem to grow & grow. I often find myself thinking back to a conversation I had with the Biscuit at Christmas. She’s six, I’m thirty-five. We were looking at the stack of books she’d received – Mary Poppins, Five Children & It, Little Women, The Worst Witch & more – and I was talking about which ones I’d like to do as read alouds. ‘But Mumma,’ she said, ‘we’ve still got to finish The Borrowers and Ballet Shoes & you’re just piling them up & up & up.’ Yes, I thought, that’s what I do.

We have at least finished The Borrowers. And started The Borrowers AfieldThere’s no hope for me really. (And the Biscuit? Two days later she’d already read Mary Poppins and A Wrinkle in Time. I’m lucky she lets me read her anything.)


  1. I can totally relate to the piling up & up & up. Sometimes I try and edit, put some things aside, but it is only temporary. I always build that stack back up to teetering. It’s optimism, right? A good thing. This is what I tell myself.

    • Optimism, yes, thanks Denise. I like that re-framing of the situation! And it’s always good to have plenty of books to hand – you never know what mood is going to strike.

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