Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Baby House

(getting good use from my plastic table cloth)

I spent a lot of time thinking about having children before I had children.

I wanted to be a mother. And so I sort of acted like I was--in small ways, so I could kind of pretend to have that life, until I actually did. I quietly stashed away darling baby outfits...things I was afraid I'd never find again when the time actually came that I'd need them. I casually perused maternity stores, wondering if everyone in there could tell that I was a fraud. I purchased things like an overpriced-- but darling-- plastic covered fabric table cloth (which is different entirely than a plastic table cloth), with the justification that, "this will be so great when I have kids".

I think I am just a "nester" by nature.

It started, well...really I couldn't say when it started. I have been gathering things for my someday house for as long as I can remember. In high school when other kids my age were asking for Roxy shirts or pookah shelled necklaces for their birthday, I asked for vintage blue Ball jars. I was in the 4-H cooking club when I was 8 or 9. I sewed a 1700's dress for my Senior project (with a lot of help from my mom). I collected picture frames and perused Pottery Barn catalogues for perfect paint colors. I dreamed of baby names, and what my bathtub would look like (it involved the blue Ball jars). In college, when I was sure that my someday house and family were just right around the corner, I pacified myself by making big dinners for my roommates and sewing covers for our unsightly industrial looking pantry shelves.

I was praciticing for the real thing.

And now when I look at my life, it is almost exactly as I imagined it--better really.

I love that I finally get to use my plastic covered table cloth, and no longer have to justify it. I love that when I open my fridge, its full of boiled veggies in tiny chunks, yobaby, and little cups of noodles and peas. I love that there are bright toys everywhere and tiny socks mixed in with mine and Trav's. I love that I can shop for baby clothes or maternity clothes and feel like I belong there. I love answering my front door with a darling child on my hip. I love how people in the grocery store always stop me and tell me how cute my little girl is. I love waking up to sweet little babbles. I love having photos (fianlly) to put up on my walls.

I love that my house is a baby house. Love it.

And so I still dream of my someday house. And I do think about paint colors and sash windows and wood floors and claw-foot tubs.

But mostly think about laughter and running in the grass and late nights in the backyard under strings of lights. I think of being gathered by a fireplace, and songs from the piano, and talent shows on the backyard stage, and tree house clubs and bike rides. Of birthday parties, and mornings in the craft room. Of baking together and movie nights and picking veggies from the garden. Of homework at the kitchen counter, and after school snacks. Of friends over for parties. And guests in the guest room.

And having even more reasons to take photographs to hang on my wall.

And really, what more could I possibly need?


  1. This is one of my all-time favorite posts by any blogger. Danielle, this is just beautiful.

  2. I have to agree. I just loved this post. The picture it paints is so lovely--I think I'll return to it often when I'm in need of a lift. Thank you.

  3. You'll need a special room for your cranky demented father, so hang on to the plastic table-cloth; that will still come in handy! :)

  4. I don't always like "I love this post!" comments, but this post totally warrants that. I agree with Rachel Mae that it will be one to come back to on a hard day. I've always loved your enthusiasm for life, and it's so fun to watch you fully embrace motherhood -- gosh, it's a good thing for blogging, or I'd be missing the whole thing. And please advise about the tablecloth -- why are attractive oilcloth tablecloths so hard to find? They are the perfect thing for a "kid house" and all I find everywhere is tacky vinyl. Any tips on finding a good one?

  5. thanks for this post it is exactly what I feel like anytime I'm thinking about children and everything that it warrants. I'm just as guilty as you are when it comes to going to maternity stores and looking at baby clothes. I think, for what it's worth, when you start acting the part somehow you do become more motherly and therefore more able to do the part when the time comes around for you.
    Darling picture of avery by the way.

  6. I love the part about tiny socks mixed in the laundry and colorful toys around the house. I feel the same way and you said it so well.

  7. Oh I wish I had your outlook right now. While I do cherish some things about my children being little, I also get easily annoyed at the toys all over the house and the hundreds of socks that I pick up everyday because my baby won't keep them on her feet. You've inspired me to enjoye it more!

  8. I am so glad to know that I am not the only one who dreams about the silly little things when my kids get older, like being room-mom and slumber parties. Great post.

  9. Have I mentioned lately how much I love you?

  10. Beautiful picture,beautiful post, beautiful daughter...OX,Mom

  11. 1. Your dad is hilarious.
    2. This might be my favorite post you have ever written.

    I was totally the Roxy and pookah shell wisher, and have been late on this whole scene. But now that I have embraced it, I am just following your lead...

  12. Love. Love everything about this post. and love your motherliness. and love being your friend. Did you read the Anne of Green Gables books? I feel like we are "kindred spirits" as she would say.

  13. Add mine to all of the grateful comments. I needed a little mothering inspiration today - and here it is! THANKS! This was profound and beautiful and so, so happy!!

  14. That was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. You, my dear, are divinely amazing.

  15. Danielle, this is a beautiful entry! You are a great mother and example to me. Right now motherhood still seems a little scary and overwhelming, but really there are so many things to love. Avery (and all future children) are very blessed to have you as a mom!

  16. I want this table cloth. Where can I find it? Please, please email me at Pearlmarie@gmail.com and let me know, or at least give me an idea of where I might something that looks similar. Thank you!!



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