M U D ::: Sensory Delight

Polly Chase Boyden

Mud is very nice to feel
All squishy-squash between the toes!
I’d rather wade in wiggly mud
Than smell a yellow rose.

It was a rainy Monday. Then the sun peeked through the clouds for a bright moment, she lit up.

“Mama, do you want to come and play in the mud!?”

Who can resist… We splashed and jumped, we oozed our toes through the gooey mud. We laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

We’re currently loving this song from our friends Dear Saint Isaac. Especially, when our darling belts it out. Enjoy!





The hike, the cave, and the brave (independent) girl

After lunch we ventured out on a hike. Constance had the privilege of riding on my back in the Ergo. It was supposed to be a simple hike with waterfalls and a cave amongst the glorious autumn colors.

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But somewhere along the way we got a bit, er, sidetracked. Lost in the woods with a baby on my back is not my idea of fun and relaxation, but nevertheless, grumbling under my breath, I pressed on. Down the steep, leaf-covered trails.

There was a moment when I was too afraid and wanted to turn back (balancing with a baby on my back isn’t the easiest and I’m not the most fit I’ve ever been), but what happened in that moment was so beautiful. I’m still stunned by it.

The tiny one on my back began cheering me on. “You can do it, mama. You can be brave. It’s okay.” Then she yelled out to the waiting others, “Mama’s coming, guys. She can do it.” I just don’t know. Sometimes we need each other.



The guys found the cave and though we missed the waterfall, this was well worth the effort.


I had to let Charlotte go on her own during the hike, my inclination to hold onto her surpassing my ability. Wings spread, she soared.

Mothers and children both grow in the letting go, taking flight.


We loved the river so much we had to return one last time before leaving. So we ventured off a little farther down the way.



This is Emma asking if it’s okay to let Charlotte climb up:


This is Emma telling Charlotte that it’s a big fall and she should let her help her down, and Charlotte refusing that help:


This is Charlotte sitting her independent self down in protest:


Emma climbs down after I tell her to let go. Big sisters have to do this sometimes, too. Charlotte told me later, “I was a little scared when Emma got down and left me up there alone.”


She climbs down. Safely. Stronger.

Because though she is small, she is fierce.



Double Digits

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Well it’s happened. Three out of five of our darlings are now double digits and I’m not handling this as well as I should be, this defining life-time achievement. They say time flies when you’re having fun but guess what: it also flies when you’re barely hanging on. Or so I’ve learned.

These last ten years have been an adventure to put it lightly. And I’m looking back thinking of so many things I wish I could undo. That’s the melancholy-depressive me talking, the you’re-not-good-enough me, the you’ve-really-done-a-number-on-these-FIVE-kids, ugly-voice me.

That one.

She’s all up in my business right now telling me what I didn’t do, what I should do, and what I can’t undo. The crazy spin she puts me on.

Dear. God. Help.

And I just want to tell our Dot that I’ve done the best I could with what I’ve had. Cop out? Nah, truth. I’m doing the best I can and grace, grace, grace, when I get it wrong and fail and miss the everything beautiful that is today, and this breath, and this one, and this. God, I wish I could get it right all the time.


To love regardless and flawless and not this damn busted-up kind of love, the broke kind. And time doesn’t give do-overs, no call-backs on these last ten years. It won’t wait for all the shoulds to be in place. It just rolls on like a river, sometimes raging, sometimes calm, but always moving.


So I tell “ugly voice” to shut up and the voice of the real me gets a little louder and says: cheers to your double digits, darling. Here’s to many more. Roll on, baby. Roll on.