Something very special happened yesterday – a once-in-a-lifetime kind of special. According to the Mayan calendar, each of us is born under a unique sign, which is associated with an animal or a symbol as well as a number. The Mayan signs, or nahuales, run on a cycle of 20 days. The numbers 1-13 move forward on their own separate cycle, so that every day is associated with a specific animal (or symbol) and a number, each of which carries a distinct meaning. Yesterday, on the great wheel of time, my nahual, my Mayan birth number, as well as my Gregorian calendar birthday all coincided.

I took this to mean I could sleep in until 7 in the morning.

Ha! I joke. My children woke me up at the regular 5:30 am, and jumped around me excitedly until I opened Mia’s handmade card.

Because it was my birthday according to both my Canadian roots and my adopted Mayan land – and because you can never have too much cake, right? – I baked myself a big birthday cake. But baking my own cake seemed a little sad, so I got Rony and Mia to decorate it. They really got into it, using fruit and decorations, and hid it away until just the right moment. My birthday was low-key but celebrated. Perfect. And I didn’t do any dishes.

Last week, we got to making homemade fingerpaint. I never knew such a thing existed, but a fingerpaint recipe can be found in The Artful Parent. Combine 1 cup cornstarch and 3 cups water. Mix until smooth, then heat on the stove, stirring until it thickens. Remove from heat and add food colouring. Such an easy recipe!

Anina hates to get dirty and quickly lost interest, but Mia has no such hangups. I spread out a paper tablecloth and let her go nuts. I need to remember to pull out that fingerpaint recipe again when I’m at a loss for things to do with the kids. The rainy season is really upon us now, and afternoons spent inside go way better with craft projects on the table.

And now it’s Monday and I have all sorts of plans for the week. Did I mention I got a sewing machine for my birthday? So excited. (How did I get to be such a homebody?)

I also finally printed off some sheet music, and am having a fantastic time learning a new piano piece. This was another special gift this weekend – time to sit at the piano and play the same thing over and over and over again (uninterrupted!) until I mastered it. Such a good feeling. I was just listening to a podcast the other day about the power of art and creativity. While my critical eye sometimes views the arts as superfluous, I do believe they can help us through difficult patches in a way nothing else can. Not everything in life has to be completely rational. I need to remember that.


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