IMG_0349IMG_0365There is a fluffy mother bird, a mourning dove, who sits faithfully on her batch of eggs, her nest balancing gently in the branches of the tree outside, eye-level with the children’s bedroom window.

They watch to see if the eggs have opened and baby birds emerged, quietly enraptured in the serene scene, and then ask if they too, were hatched from eggs.

‘beautiful things’







Last week at bedtime while lying under her quilt, everyone else already asleep, she said to me all serious, “Mama, I need some beautiful things”.  “Like what?” I asked.  “You have lots of beautiful things.”  “Beautiful things mama, like pinks and purples and flowers and butterflies and dresses with unicorns, pink ones and blue ones and sparkly things like stars”.  (Nothing like specifics, I guess.  I wonder who she inherited that trait from…..?  (Oh dear.))  Since I couldn’t do anything about her first requests in that moment, I thought I might be able to help with the sparkly thing, so hand-in-hand we tip-toed down the stairs through a dark and slumbering house and out the back door to look at the shimmering stars.  (The sight never grows old for me.)   And she said, sitting next to me looking up at Venus, the brightest, most faithful beacon,  “Mama, this is happiness.”  (If she only knew how much I agree–how much her life is an answered prayer–how much love and joy she brings me.)  She talked about looking at the stars for days afterward. It left an impression on her I hope she carries with her always.  Certainly it left an impression on me.

Inspired by both need and want, I sewed a bit on the crazy-side last week (per her request of ‘beautiful things’), so she has 6 (now 8 (since I took the above picture))  tunic-dresses for her not-so-little four year old frame, all pinks and purples and blues and unicorns and flowers.  I had so much fun sewing these– So simple and easy and just right for her age and for dressing herself (and so much less expensive than popular dresses similar in style on a British clothing website I usually order from).  Though she is very feminine, Eithne is also such a tom-boy (this she did not get from her mother), so her dresses need to be functional too– for climbing trees and digging in the dirt and running and swinging and jumping and exploring with her brother, easy for her to take off when they are full with mud and sand.

The following morning we satisfied the rest of her ‘beautiful things’ bit with a little stop at the gardens attached to the hospital where my husband works, which are truly beautiful, especially right now.  The gardens are meant for wounded warriors and those recovering from trauma, donated by someone who clearly had a burden for the hurting and an eye for beauty.  We have visited a few times, often bringing a picnic with us to share outside as a family if Andrew is able to walk over during his lunch hour.  I am so thankful for these free and beautiful spots around here– sometimes surprised by how few people visit them during the day.

‘Beautiful things’ — I am thankful for a passionate little girl who ‘needs’ them.  I do too….