In our final days of summer we are (as we say in Philly) “down the shore.” Our family’s “shore” lies on the Delaware Bay beach of Cape May. We’ve fallen into somewhat of a routine here: start the day with family cuddles, set Alfie Guy up with his breakfast and show while we take those quiet moments to dig into our work. My husband and I are both entrepreneurs which can mean the routine is no routine at all, but Alfie has us disciplined; we know a day without the right balance of movement, quiet time and good food can mean… we’re in trouble.
I’ve been taking Alfie to the bay on my own every now and then—an ambitious feat. A good five months pregnant alongside a very strong three year old who seemingly could run and swim all day long. He and I have discovered other activities along the shore, one of which is our game of “focus.” Focus began on the big old rusty pipe that juts out onto the beach. The activity goes like this: Alfie bear crawls himself along the top of this seemingly dangerous circumstance as we chant “focus” together. “Focus…focus…focus…” until he tags a certain spot on the pipe next to me, where I then pick him up, twirl him around and he yells, “I did it!” He’ll then take a momentary celebratory rest and roll in the sand alongside the shadow of the pipe before jumping up to do it again. Focus is a new word and concept for him and he loves it. We do this about 10-20 times until I’m able to come up with a compelling enough reason for us to move on with my significantly sand coated babe. My girlfriend down here brilliantly calls the sand coating, “Shake n’ Bake”.
This morning I woke up before my boys to meditate and to write. I had to giggle a bit when the message from my wonderful (and easy) 10 minute Calm app meditation was, “Starve your distractions, feed your focus,” a line from Daniel Goleman. As we step into September, into this new school year, focus seems to be timely. For me, focus and action. This year, year two of Mother Butter, I’ve been patiently observing and allowing myself to ease into the work. Is it really annoying to share that I have very little stress here? I purposefully have designed it so. That being said however, this also means I’m not taking risks and as we step into this new season it’s probably time for me to begin pushing myself just a little bit harder. Focus, push yourself, get the job done, then roll around in the sand, shake n’ bake baby.
The end of our days here have a bit of routine too. Starting with a good hose-down of the sand coated toddler who then gets airlifted right into the tub; a load of laundry begins and dinner comes together somehow. We watch a show, family cuddle again and then bedtime story. We turn out the lights and remind Alfie of everything that happened that day until we land on, “and now we’re…” and Alfie answers, “HERE.” We say our prayers and smooch that little bugger good night.
Next week Alfie will begin official preschool (conveniently across the street from the Mother Butter kitchen in Philadelphia). We’ll start a new routine, a new flow and we’ll remind ourselves “focus”. Part of the mission here at Mother Butter is to, “Mother the Mother, Care for the Caretaker.” I often wonder about all the ways we can do that. How can we make your life better? It starts with the butter—the nutrition we provide helps you remain healthy, vibrant—but there are other ways we can care too. Our collection of recipes and focus right now on back to school snacks and lunches hopefully provides some inspiration/relief. And our new subscription options can help you set it and forget it—your Mother Butter will arrive (discounted) monthly, bi-monthly, etc., so that you always have a jar on hand for those nut-free, dairy-free, lunch requirements.
Be well my friend and perhaps join Alfie and I in FOCUS this fall. What’s the best that could happen?