Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What's in a day?

My dear friend E... recently wrote about a day when she cried over spilled milk, a day when she asked herself, "Where has this day gone? Any why can't I accomplish anything, except walk around in the ten foot path between the kitchen table and sink?"
I have those mom days too. Days frittered away in a haze of cleaning up the kitchen, begging the boys to pick up the Magna Tiles and then doing it myself, wrestling my Sweet P for diaper changes, settling arguments, preparing meals that I am embarrassed that my kids eat, and, sadly, getting so caught up in trying to create some order around this place that I'm less mom and more worker drudge.
As a mom and an individual, I want to be loving, energetic, fun, creative, attentive and, most of all, present. I'm doing the best I can.
One quality about myself that I have come to appreciate is my hopefulness and my faith in my own ability to grow, change, improve, evolve ... whatever you want to call it. I like thinking about the projects I want to accomplish (Pinterest -- I heart you), the books in my to-read pile, the recipes yet to be tried, the notes to be written, the exercise plans to be implemented, the fun stuff to be experienced and enjoyed with my husband and kids. I wake up many mornings, especially Mondays, thinking maybe this will be the day that I figure out how to do it all. Not sure that day will come and have certainly had many days that end in frustrated, brain dead, semi-exhaustion ...
But I still have hope for what each new day might bring. For what I might bring to that day.
With that in mind, I share with you a few glimpses of a new favorite children's book, one that would, in my opinion, make a better graduation gift than Oh, The Places You'll Go (though, that's a good one). What human being of any age or stage couldn't use a little inspiration regarding the value of a day?
Cynthia Rylant is one of my very favorite children's authors. I've given her book Give Me Grace as a baby gift many times and love reading the the rhyming prayers for each day to my kids.
In addition to Rylant's eloquent and inspiring text, I love Nikki McClure's illustrations in this book, which she created by drawing images on black paper and cutting them out with an X-Acto knife.
I love how simple the palette is: black, yellow, beautiful blue/gray.
I almost get chills here with "A day is all you have to be, it's all you get to keep."
How can you argue with that?
Okay, find a copy of this book so you can enjoy and be inspired by the whole thing. Then, buy some copies for people you love.
And go fill today up with you.

Disclaimer: I checked this book out of my local library. I was not compensated for this post. I will be buying copies of All in a Day as part of new baby gift bundles.


Heather said...

Looks like an inspiring book.

Reminds me of my blog title, and favorite Bible verse: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Even on the not-so-great, nothing-much-accomplished days...we are blessed to have even those days with our family, and even though you think you did nothing, your mere presence is more than some kids have. Don't be too hard on yourself; the days when your kids are little are tough, but they're also FULL. You're a great mom, and your love for your family is evident. Start there, and you can't go wrong.

E... said...

Thanks for the link, and the solidarity. It is tough some days, and like you, I'm working on being more mindful, more purposeful in all that I do. Have a post about that very thing brewing around.
Love the book. Will be adding it to the kids' wish list!

Beth WA said...

So glad you are doing this November challenge! I love this post...I wasn't aware of these books. I will definitely be adding them to my baby shower gift regular and graduation gift regular!!

CaraBee said...

What a beautiful book. I love those lines. I have a 3rd-baby baby shower next weekend and I think I'll pick up a copy of this book to add to her basket.

Stacia said...

Okay, this gave me chills, too. And it wasn't just the blood rushing out of my knee after hopping around the apartment trying to put the baby to bed by myself. Going to Amazon now to check out the two books you mention ...

Tricia said...

Thank you thank you thank you! I was just planning Christmas gifts for some close family friends. I have adorable cocoa mugs for the family and some hot chocolate mix. Was thinking of adding a Christmas movie. How zoned-out. Now I'm adding this wonderful book instead and finding a couple of others to go with it. Great suggestion!!!

Roonstown said...

Killeen's a big Nikki McClure fan - I'll have to share this book with her if she's not already aware of it. Killeen gave me one of her calendars last Christmas and recently attended one of Nikki's workshops out in Portland.

Tricia said...

Thanks again for the gift idea. Got mine in the mail yesterday...along with the book Snow. Going to make a great gift for a family wrapped up with some hot cocoa mugs.

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