When I was growing up, there were routines, schedules, classes, projects...I always had something going on and not much has changed. I am addicted to productivity and to fully completing my goals. There is a scene on the hit show "Friends" where the character Monica can't sleep because her shoes are out of place. Totally me. Uh huh, I know I need help but I figure raising four kids makes me "high-functioning" enough to escape diagnosis ;-). What being a full-time stay-at-home homeschooling mama has taught me about projects and productivity hasn't exactly helped me check things off my "done" list. It has however taught me to appreciate the beautiful inspirations that have come from long unscheduled days with my children. I did not realize that such creativity could come from nothing. I am continually amazed with how differently my kids look at objects around our home and in our yard and how wonderfully open their minds are. They bring me letters made from flower branches and show me board games made from figurines in their toy box-complete with kid rules of course! They turn toys upside down and attach them to other things I would never have imagined to make vehicles and machinery-all with quite specific functional explanation of course! They write wish lists from web sites and teach each other to read using a syllable game and long prehistoric animal names. They count each other's snack pieces, sorting, adding, and subtracting in the bargain. Food does make for the coolest math! They make miniature exhibits in my windowsills and leave creative gifts around the house for Mr. Darcy and I to find. I love the learning "modules" and "games" they design for their amusement. Because these are their ideas, they fully embrace them. I heard once never to interfere with child's play. I have found for my darlin's this is a truism. The moment I acknowledge their "game" or try to be a part of it, the creativity comes to an end. They want me to "do it for them" or "pat them on the head" for the accomplishment. When I steer clear, I notice they validate themselves and take it on to the next level of learning through play. The taxonomy of learning can go way beyond simple verbal skills even at the tender age of five. It has in truth been a blessing and a challenge learning to embrace unfinished projects and this boundless creativity. If Mr. Darcy and I survive this unconventional phase, I will be very proud to say the least. I pray of course for the peace of mind I need to watch my lists grow and embrace an unscheduled beautiful nothingness. Another sweet lesson that I needed to learn. May my darlin's always look at the world in their beautifully abstract way!