Family Planning: No. 7 of 40 Forts

Family Planning: No. 7 of 40 Forts

Family Planning: No. 7 of 40 Forts

This piece clearly reflects the immediate relief I found from our new routine. I must admit that I have been worried about Lucy’s adaptability. Because I am at my best when I am adapting. It was scientifically proven. With an online test! Ha. But seriously, a few years ago, I took the StrengthFinders test. These were my strengths:

Strategic – “The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. … This is your Strategic theme at work: ‘What if?’ Select. Strike.”
{My elementary school nickname was “What if?”.}

Maximizer – “Excellence, not average, is your measure. … Strengths, whether yours or someone else’s, fascinate you. … you want to capitalize on the gifts with which you are blessed.”

Input – “You are inquisitive. You collect things. … And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity.”

Connectedness – “Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it. You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all connected. … Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures. Sensitive to the invisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives.”

Adaptability – “You live in the moment. (T)his theme… does enable you to respond willingly to the demands of the moment even if they pull you away from your plans. … You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.”

We have always had a routine loosely. It was something that I followed pretty intuitively. But by solidifying the schedule, I moved up Lucy’s afternoon nap from 2:30 to 2:00. Granted, sometimes she would nap at 1:30. But generally, she probably went to sleep a little too late. So while I am establishing this new routine, I am being very rigid and by the clock. I hope that we can return to a little give and take once she is a fabulous sleeper, which I am planning on her being very, very soon.

However we ran into another hitch in her sleep last night. Teething. I didn’t realize until we tried to put her down how much pain she was in. She really doesn’t complain during the day. But I should have picked up on the teething when the large strand of drool that hit my lips while we were playing on the floor yesterday. So it was pretty late last night before the Motrin kicked in. The fussiness has lasted most of today, as well. But I am staying on top of the pain meds this time instead of trying to put her to bed in pain.

Her doctor said this week that she may get several teeth at once since she still doesn’t have one that has broken through the surface. So after a bumpy 24 hours of sleep, we are going to get back into the sleep routine tonight, until the morning when we leave for NYC for a weekend vacation. Ay-y-ay! Whatever. Life goes on and we just have to deal.

She avoided schedules, but immediately found comfort in the routine.

She avoided schedules, but immediately found comfort in the routine.

Before starting the tent, Debra sent me a link to this orange rattle she found on Mahar Drygoods, which is one of my very favorite stores. She said that it reminded her of me. The funny thing was that I gave Lucy her very first taste of orange maybe an hour earlier. Plus I had this sheet of images of all different kinds of oranges. That was enough of a coincidence to easily pick that tent for the day.

Plush Orange Rattle from Mahar Dry Goods

When I sat down to create the tent, I found this Family Planning stamp in my collection. Instead of considering the traditional understanding of family planning, I kept thinking about our family meetings. They have become a little more informal and on the fly than in the past. Yes, we often have typed agendas! But then I found that family planning is just as much about the minutia and the daily routine. Which when I found being more relaxed it’s easier to fill the day with sweet joys, like the first taste of an orange.

all kinds of oranges

all kinds of oranges


This paper sculpture, roughly the size of a coffee cup, is one of forty forts I created during Lent 2010 as a creative exercise and spiritual exploration.

Read about all of the Forty Forts.

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