Friday, August 3, 2012

Busy summers and a moment of reflection

Ack!  I swear I remember summer as being a time of leisure once upon a time.  I'm not sure if I have shared but I'm a full time PhD student.  I consider it a blessing really.  Being a full time student has afforded me the flexibility to be home with my daughter far more than a full time job would have allowed.  BUT I have to admit I am constantly running, some nights I am up until the wee hours of the morning sewing and/or finishing up a paper and its really not unusual for me to get about 3-4 hours of sleep a night.  The good news is this works for me most of the time...except when it doesn't.  When it doesn't I think my body decides it has had enough, rebels against me, and I find myself falling asleep at the most inopportune moments.

That's where I have been the last two weeks.  It doesn't seem to matter how much sleep I get...I'm exhausted.  So the last week, I've been going to bed at a reasonable hour, but it means I can see the projects piling up.  Hopefully in the next week, I can wrap up two of those projects, one an internship and another a small analysis report.  Then I can focus more attention to this big research project I'm a part of, my reading and conference I'm supposed to complete this summer, and Tansy Dolls, of course.  :D

Summer may no longer be leisurely anymore, but Aria and I got to take some time for ourselves yesterday afternoon.  It wasn't really planned, we had to wait around until my paycheck would be available.  We walked aimlessly for a bit and then I remembered the Walk of the Heroines.

My Master's thesis adviser, Johanna Brenner, was one of the creators of this beautiful garden park complete with a splash fountain.  It honors the women who came before us and fought for the rights that many of us now take for granted, but its also a tribute to all women, both the long dead and the ones yet to be born.

Aria and I walked the path.  We stopped and read the quotes carved into stone.  We picked out our favorites and then discussed what it all meant.  She's only four so its hard to say exactly what she gets and doesn't get, but she was unusually serene.  She actually let me take pictures of her, something that lately she won't do unless I bribe her...that or she refuses to smile and will make funny faces at me.
Aria's favorite quote.
It was a really beautiful way to spend the afternoon with my daughter.  There is so much work that I need to do, but I think what I needed more was to take a break, truly hang out with my kid, and just enjoy life for a little bit.

We ended up having dinner sitting cross-legged on the benches at the Portland State University playground. Aria tore off pieces of her sandwich to feed the birds and ants.  Out of the blue, my sweet little child, between bites of her PB & J, said, "Mom, it's okay if some kids have two mommies.  Love is love."
My favorite quote.
I smiled and said, "You're right, Babes.  Love is love." She smiled back and finished her sandwich.

I have very little room in my heart for hate.  I hope my daughter never has any room in her heart for it at all.  Instead, I'd rather fill our days with long walks, good conversations, and picnics at the playground....
filthy toes and a little bit of sunshine
Next Friday, I'll do another Art with Aria post, so be sure to check in to see what creative activities we've been up to.  Also, don't forget our giveaway on our Tansy Dolls Facebook fan page.  Its easy to enter, just read the details in the note.



  1. I love this post. Aria is right - love is love. I didn't know about the Walk of the Heroines. Must check it out.

    1. :D She amazes me sometimes; my heart swelled when she said that. You should definitely check out the Walk of the Heroines. The splash fountain is perfect for the littles as its tucked back by Hoffman Hall. ~Robin