Our Best Unschooling Day This Week - Pysanky Party!
My heart has been so heavy with the war in the Ukraine. I have a little cry about it most days. Doing the For Ukraine Candle Kit fundraiser helped. Helping others helped me to cope and to feel closer to you, my Maplerose community, too.
It was very important for me to write Pysanky this year for so many reasons but mostly because I am free and safe and I can. Creating can be very healing, calming and it's usually pretty fun. I've found it's one of the best things I can do for myself.
And while the days leading up to it were so full, Easter unfolded with such ease this year that allowed for all kinds of creativity.
Last year I planned a scavenger hunt that just about did me in. I just couldn't figure out the logistics of how to plan it and write the clues. And then I decided to make wet felted Surprise Eggs to hide all of the treats in. Oh boy!
It was a great success but it had me feeling stressed. Which actually makes it not a "great success" to me - it was really fun and magical for the children, but mom just about lost her marbles. There's gotta be a better way.
In a concerted effort to keep track of what marbles I have left, this year was different. Maybe it's all the therapy, but it was truly a success as I had fun, too.
This year our scanvenger hunt through the neighbourhood ended up in our favourite woods with just a few simple cliues to get us there. Fueled by jelly beans and chocolate bunnies (thanks VIVA Cacao!), we just kept on scampering around the forest. The snow was all gone and the streams were flowing and the birds and squirrels sung us a chorus of welcoming.
Once home again, I had a few ideas of what else I wanted to get done during the day but refused to put any pressure on me (or anyone else) to make that happen.
"Let the day unfold with ease and grace" is an affirmation that has been with me for years. It's like kryptonite for getting overwhelmed.
After rolling up plant pots made of newspaper, filling them with soil and seeds it seemed that I had officially become one of those people who starts seeds for their garden. I couldn't be prouder. If every one of those seeds sprouts. Hurrah! If everyone of those seeds grows us some food, I don't know where we'll put it all.
A good hit of abundance brings me such joy!
Dinner was a couple of hours away and I couldn't believe it. This year, it looked like we/I would actually get to write Pysanky!
I wasn't going to stress out about it but I thought that because we hadn't gotten to it yet that it would have to wait til next year and I was a little disapointed. My back-up plan was to just be a rebel and do it in the summer.
I got out our supplies from last year and some fun new dye colours I wanted to try (Kokanee Salmon!) and with Charlotte's help picked out 3 other shades of pink and 1 blue. The only 2 colours matter to her these days, as an almost 6-year old, are pink and non-pink. I had to fight for the blue.
This is a messy craft/art form. There's no way around it. Last year I resisted and tried to keep it tidy. This year I was ready. I bought paper towels!
I'm determined to get good at this. I'm so not good at it and I won't let that hurt my feelings. I kind of like the hooligans see me not be good at something. And hopefully, they'll see me get better at it. How cool would that be?
Walt didn't even want to join, but Charlotte was so keen. She wasn't impressed with her inability to be a master at it immediately either but we did our best. I'd load the kitska with black beeswax, hand it to her, I'd hold the egg and she'd try to write.
You don't "draw" Ukrainian Easter eggs, you write them because you're telling a story through your drawings. I just love that.
The smell of the beeswax was so lovely and the colours so vibrant. And with my small one sitting beside me...oh wait, she took off.
So there I was. Both hooligans off and busy with their own thing, and me sitting at the dining room table quietly creating. That's pretty special, too.
I haven't had many opportunities through these first years of momming to create on my own, just for me. Well, to do anything all by myself actually. It's been a conscious choice that I'm grateful to make, and to be able to make. As time and space starts to open up with the small ones becoming more independant it's so very exciting.
Our eggs are still covered in wax and need to be warmed and wiped clean. We'll get to that part eventually. It was never about making the perfect Ukrainian Easter egg though.
I haven't put anything away yet actually. I want to be ready when another window of time opens up that I can sit down and play again. And I figure if I practice more than once a year I might actually get the hang of it - making eggs and making time for myself.
That sounds like success to me and that's all that really matters.