My mom is crunchy (Crunchy like a hippie, not crunchy like a carrot).

She’s actually mellowed out a lot over the years, but when I was little?  We had whole wheat everything – not a white grain in the house (this includes a bag of flour).  I think I might have 6 childhood photos of myself in which I am wearing clothes that match.  I went to a Waldorf School. I had no plastic toys, only wooden.  In fact, my favorite was a “gnome house,” and it was AWESOME.  The base was a big slice of tree, it had a two story tree house on it.  It had a hut and a pulley system, and all sorts of little secret things that kids love, like a trap door.

Mine was MUCH cooler than this, but it gives you an idea.

I didn’t realize that my mom was so crunchy until I got into first grade and started comparing lunches with my friend, Becca.  She had nice Wonderbread sandwiches with turkey and iceberg lettuce (the bag-lunch standard).  She also got chips.

But today, I am more thankful for my mom’s crunchiness than I’ve ever been (with the exception, perhaps, of that time she came to visit and bought me a whole cabinet full of delicious Method and Greenworks  organic cleaning supplies….).

We just got back from spending the better part of a week in Indiana with mom and let me tell you something, crunchiness really lends itself to mothering/grandmothering!  Madeline probably had more fun this week than she has had all month put together.

This week Madeline: watered 5,000 flowers, filled a birdfeeder, washed fruits and veggies, played with oatmeal, was introduced to playdoh on the back porch, learned to identify a chipmunk’s bark, danced to Broadway music, played in the sandbox with sieves and enormous buckets of water, learned to identify rudbeckia (yes, my mom uses the scientific name for Black-eyed-Susans), received lots of wooden toys, but some plastic ones too, and went to a science museum…

…all with Grandma Elliott patiently coaching, encouraging, and cleaning up behind her.

I felt like I got to be a fly on the wall of my own childhood.  Like somehow I transcended time and got to watch mom mother me.

My counselor told me that my personality type likes to “reserve energy,” which is totally true.  (I’d paint my nails more often, if it was worth the effort.  I only go outside when the temperature is below 80 degrees.)  So all week I was amazed and inspired by my mom and her antics because all I could think was, what an incredible amount of WORK!

To constantly be wiping up playdoh, sweeping up oats, birdseed, and sand.  Taking 35 minutes to do a task with the “help” of a toddler instead of 5 minutes to do it by yourself.  Did I mention that this woman also cooked all of our meals while we were there?  And made a peach/blueberry tart?  And her house is clean?  Parenting ain’t for sissies.

My mom is no sissy.  She’s hardworking and creative; brave, patient, adventurous, and so, so practical.  And crunchy; I love crunchy.  I’m so thankful for her, and I’m thankful to have had the chance to talk, laugh and drink tea together this week.

Here are some pictures of our time in Indiana.

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