Naturalist turned stay-at-home-mom. In Texas!

Thanks for joining me on this very first entry into the blogosphere!  Who am I? Plain and simple…

I am a naturalist turned stay-at-home-mom. In Texas! But what does this really mean.

Delving deeper, I’ve always been pulled toward all things nature. It’s my go-to for sense of self, comfort, place, beauty, teacher… home.  If you’d asked my younger self if I’d be a stay-at-home-mom with three littles in a subdivision of Texas, I would have thought you nuts.  Me?! All up in the school PTA business. In and out of various mom’s groups. Face painting at pre-school parties. Just finding it hard to say no to really anything good regarding kids. Enjoying it all of course. But the naturalist in me always feels a twinge of strange. Some irregularity.

I’ve always been pulled toward all things nature. It’s my go to for sense of self, comfort, place, beauty, teacher… home.

Enter Suburbia.

I ultimately met the man of my dreams, and here we are. In order to get by in an average American community, our family found ourselves in the depths of suburbia’s seemingly endless HOA’S, painstakingly manicured, green, fertilized lawns, void of anything but… green.  A ritual background of mind numbing lawnmowers and leaf blowers.  And a whole list of chemicals in order to secure that green. Carbon copy neighborhoods of what, to me, feels like a painful going against the grain. And how does this suburbanized mom come to terms with our children greeting this everyday scene? How does this naturalist turned stay-at-home-mom cope with this Texas, but more than that, increasingly universal scene?

What is normal?

Naturalist turned stay-at-home-mom.  In Texas!  Photo of typical suburban home by Milly Eaton for Pexels.
Photo by Milly Eaton from Pexels.

Thinking back to my younger self, I vividly remember my first viewing of “Edward Scissorhands” – the scene where all the neighbor husbands leave their identical driveways for work in a what seems like endless suburbia.  As a kid, I too lived in a similar, newly constructed community. And although it bordered a wilderness area, I suddenly found my childhood streets a starkly strange and alien environment.  Thus begging questions… Why the copycat lawns?  Why fight nature with pesticides to create a false version of what is already strikingly beautiful, just up the hill and down the way (and survives on only sunshine, snowmelt and a rare summer storm)? Fast forward to today and these suburbias remain community baselines.

Taking a closer look.

As you can see, I may live with my babies in subdivided “bliss,” but my own inner child is at odds with what they see on a day to day basis.  In other words, our children are cocooned from something beautiful and much greater right before their eyes, if we’d only take the time to look. How can a naturalist turned stay-at-home-mom delve deeper with her kids into that which is the real Texas? How does one step past the facade we’ve laid out for ourselves, much like the black screens we gaze into day to day (and even into the night).

Nobody sees a flower really. It is so small it takes time. We haven’t time.

And to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.

-Georgia O’Keeffe

The wonders of the natural world await if we could only take the time.