Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 Reading Goals- Book 1

When I was a new mom, I ordered Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kenison from the Chinaberry catalog. It was one of those books that has stayed with me over the years. Every now and then, I pick it up and re-read some sections of it. It's a book that urges mothers to find serenity in simplicity and being present in the daily moments of life.

Recently, I discovered that Katrina Kenison had written a sequel of sorts to Mitten Strings. In this book she writes about her almost grown sons and what that means to her as a mother. At first, I was shocked. How could her boys be so grown up already?! In her new book, Kenison's older son is getting ready to go to college and her younger son is in high school. In her first book she talks about her days with her young sons, then 6 and 9. I realized that almost a decade had past since I had read Mitten Strings. This is actually the whole point of her new book about how fleeting time is. Our children aren't with us very long, but when our children are very young, we can't imagine them ever leaving the nest or life without them. My oldest son is ten and I am constantly thinking that the last decade just slipped away so quickly. More than half my time with him is already gone. (I know. I'm so glass-half-empty about this.)
Anyway, her book is about many things converging all at once. In the midst of a happy life, she and her husband start looking to move from a home that they love. It's almost as if she anticipates the changes on the horizon. Her boys are growing and thus are growing increasingly independent from her. As they grow older, she examines her evolving identity as a mother. So, in the midst of all the changes, she and her husband search for a new home which causes its own anxiety. She admits that when they sold their home, it's like the door shut on her boys' childhood. It was a defining moment in her family life, but in the midst of everything, she remembers that ordinary days are filled with beauty and joy. She enjoys the time she has left with her family as she knows it. Holding onto the days with teenage sons and appreciating those ordinary moments that all to quickly will be gone. It's sad, but hopeful.

She has beautiful lyrical quality to her writing, but of course, I felt a little agitated as I began to look ahead to my own future as my oldest child grows (way too quickly). I will face these same feelings too, but for now, I can enjoy the ordinary and discover all it has to offer.

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