“Carve me a rat, please, mom?” Umm, well, yeah. So I set to carve a rat. Trying at least. It’s not easy, you know. I mean, think of the snout. Pointy, just long enough and not too long. Gosh, I thought I had it and then it broke. So the rat didn’t happen. An hour or so. Sasha wanted me to make him one. Hours of making nothing then, you’ll say. But no. We’re up to our ankles in wood chips. Carving and chatting. “Would the man who invented carving be able to carve a rat, mom? He would, right?” Ha, I have yet to hear of a gentler way of telling someone “it ain’t happening for you but thanks for trying.” Now the tail breaks too. You gotta have the right piece of wood, you gotta see the rat inside the wood, Sasha. Yeah, I get my knowledge these days from Surf’s Up, they carve surf boards there. Dinner is not even started, I have loads to write, but we carved until the carving dripped dry from our fingers. Then we moved to painting rocks. I could do it for hours. Well, OK, I did. We did. Sasha and I. Chatting, choosing rocks from my extensive collection. They’re alive now, the rocks. Dinner’s still MIA, writing has to wait, laundry and tidying up are raising some nasty brows at me. Who cares. Carving and painting rocks can’t wait. They never will. They can’t. There’s turtles, trees, stars splattered on rocks and shells, mount Galiano and a bioluminescent ocean with a little me swimming in it. Now you see why dinner cannot make it to the table before those painted rocks.

I confess (facts):

  • My boys never had dinner ready at six. The best and proper of intentions sway like cattails and yield to the wind. Fluff away, blue skies, kids running and climbing and jumping like squirrels. Dinner time is arbitrary, you see, because so much gets in the way.
  • My boys have an untidy room and I silently condone it. They’re too busy being kids. I am busy with them. It could be writing, mudding-up at the river, carving, painting, making pink paper pigs or forgetting ourselves in some salmonberry bush on the way to or from the secret place.
  • Lack of organizing life but taking time to organize painted rocks has me drive the boys to school in my pajamas occasionally. But here’s the thing, the rocks have been wondered at and we kindly shared compliments about how neat we made them look. The way we like it.

The promise:

  • Dinner at six. Never.
  • House/yurt/tent tidied up to lick-the-floor standards. Never.
  • As long as we can have it our way, summers will never have an ounce of scheduling in them unless the boys will ask for it.
  • All day pajama days and occasional stay-home-from-school days or get-out-early-for-hot-chocolate with mom. Just because.
  • They shall carve with real knives, come up with the craziest competitions to show me who is better and tougher, and together they’ll keep snickering while watching Planet Earth and hearing David Attenborough narrate about wild asses from the southern hemisphere. What? It’s donkeys he’s talking about of course. For real.