My mom adventures in Fort Collins


I wanna be a dinker, at least as I define it

“I’m back,” I say to no one in particular.

I love to write, but sometimes it is simply inertia. This object was in motion, and stayed in motion. (Alternatively, one could argue perhaps that this object was at rest and remained at rest.) This summer has been a bounty of pool time, camping trips, late bedtimes and lazy mornings. All this time, I have not given any voice to the many blog posts that occurred to me while I was watching my six-year-old blossom from a life-preserver-wearing-floater to a full-fledged-swimmer, while I witnessed my three-and-a-half-year-old start writing a semi-legible name, or while I spent time trying to manifest the moose that would make my wildlife sighting all-time-best list.

Yes, it is August.

Fortunately, something happened and I was inspired to write again—not in my head this time, but here at the keyboard. My evening was simple enough: I attended a small-group gathering at church, and then came home and read this fantastic essay online. The perfect storm of thought-provoking content, a moment to reflect, and the power to read. (Sorry, I had a SuperWhy moment.)

The church group was pondering the wisdom of the “Wow” of Anne Lamott’s book Help, Thanks, Wow, a book on what Lamott describes as the three essential prayers, and the essay (if you don’t have time to click over) is about the immense gratitude that a mother feels once she sees her daughter’s tendency to move slowly through life as a gift not a burden. What a blessing this wisdom is to me at this particular juncture in my life.

You see, I too have a daughter who goes through life at her own pace. To be fair, I do not always feel grateful for this characteristic, but I think that tonight was trying to tell me something.

In the past, I have called my daughter “a dinker.” Not at all nice, right? I mutter under my breath that she’s always “dinking.” I looked up the definition of “dink” in the dictionary, and it actually doesn’t reflect what I think the definition is, so I would like to one-up Mr. Webster, and offer this: Dink (v.) to move slowly, to putter around, to lose track of time while trying to complete a task, and this also: Dinker (n.) one who dinks. Example: “Kiddo, could you quit dinking around and come here and brush your teeth already?”

My Wow moment, one that I realized recently, was that this child has indeed given me the joy of seeing life in a new way. Countless times, in fact. In the past, I have found it cliché when people wax philosophical about the insight gained by “seeing things through a child’s eye.” Well, as they say, one person’s cliché is another person’s wisdom. I’m switching sides.

The specific story that came to mind was of a series of events that happened two summers ago. At the time, Scout had just turned four. Cory created a garden box for her in the back yard, approximately four feet by four feet. She was thrilled. This was her garden, and she was growing things in her garden. She planted the seeds and even occasionally weeded. (The sprinkler system could be trusted to handle the watering.) Among her precious crops were a few stalks of corn. As time went on, the corn grew and so did her love of gardening. This rather reserved four-year-old would happily engage in conversations about her garden. She shared details about the types of plants she was growing, what she did to take care of the garden, information on how gardens grow, and she boasted that this was her own garden built for her by her dad. But the best part of all of these garden-related conversations was the corn cook-off that she envisioned in the future. She invited everyone to enjoy her corn with her at the end of the summer. She anticipated a mighty crop, and it would be delicious.

As it turned out, the bugs got the corn and we never did have any magnificent harvest, but we did have a girl who lovingly turned a plot of earth with run-of-the-mill vegetable seedlings into the opportunity to feast on the simple pleasures of life and revel in the wonders of nature.

Wow, kiddo. Simply wow.

I try to be intentional with my time, and I imagine myself to be someone who slows down to take it all in, but it appears I am not a natural dinker. Maybe there is still time for this precious girl and others like her to teach me how to dink around. I think I need more practice, but she can help me. I want to be a dinker.

When I think about all of the things that I have missed because I don’t slow down, it makes me feel a twinge of guilt. But I have today, and I have been given this opportunity to pause and reflect. Whether it’s the garden harvest fantasies, the dandelion bouquets, or the way that she can find an anthill like a heat-seeking missile, my girl is the wholly (holy) joyful dinker. Let’s embrace that term and reinvision a world of sweet dinkers.

The sweetest dinker

The sweetest dinker

What about you? Are you a dinker? Do you have a dinker in your life? Or, as I suspect, have you learned something special from a small child?

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

What a precious Dinksr’ ! Love this, Jayme – Thanx for sharing. I dinker my way thru books – usually have more than 5 going at a time, & now with the Kindle, even more. Feels good to push thru to the finish line upon occasion! (altho, true confessions, a spine tingling spy thriller or mystery doesn’t get dinked! : )

so glad you are back in the blogosphere !
grace, peace & blog dinkering – Virginia
p.s. …& Anne Lamott groupies

Comment by Virginia

Well, book dinking is a post all on its own. I think I had an intervention when we moved to Fort Collins–there were a few dozen books from our shelves that we packed up with bookmarks in them. My husband asked, “Were you reading this?” And I was like, “Yes, at some point…” Funny! And you know what, Anne Lamott probably deserves her own post, too! Hope you’re well, Virginia!

Comment by jaymers

Loved reading your latest entry. I find myself on both ends of the “dinking” scale. I’m either in hyperdrive or stalled out. I’m looking for my coast. I love the idea of a childrens garden. Putting this on my “list” for next year. I could write a whole blog entry just on lists. We all have them right? I need to triage set list when I get home today. Thanks for sharing–your writing is wonderful. Kind of like reading a good book I can relate to.

Comment by Jen

Thanks, Jen! It is so kind of you to comment, and it means so much that someone else is reading this and connecting to it in some way. Let’s dink & garden & enjoy our kids as much as possible.

Comment by jaymers




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