For as long as I can remember, I've always envisioned owning a treehouse. A quiet little spot for the kids to huddle with friends, dreaming about the future. A serene place for me to sit up high above the ground to gather my thoughts and write. A "secret" hideout to toast the end of a busy workweek with a glass of wine with my husband or sharing giggles with friends. There's something magical about the solitude of watching the world with a bird's eye view.
Last weekend, we were able to get away for a short jaunt up north and enjoy a little bit of sunshine. Although the above seasonal temperatures felt like summer, the burnt orange and red leaves were a reminder to enjoy every bit of this last little stretch of warm weather.
The kids had a blast spending time outdoors, roaming for sticks for a marshmallow roast and bonfire, climbing trees and biking on the trails. Our daughter in particular, closely examined about a dozen trees, deciding which one would be most suitable to climb, which at first I thought, so she can go as high up the tree as her brother.
Although I agreed at the moment...deep down, I wasn't sure if I have ever outgrown that "treehouse" stage.
After a lengthy search, once our daughter found "the tree", she didn't climb to the top, but sat on a branch that seemed to fit perfectly around her body. On both days of the weekend, she headed towards that tree and spent hours sitting on that limb with a notebook and pencil in tow, writing stories. She was content to sit for hours in that tree, examining the bark, watching the sunset, writing and drawing in her little book.
Although it's pretty obvious in our house, that our son's personality is more similar to mine...analytical, results driven, inquisitive, and our daughter has the imaginative, fun loving, story-telling spirit like my husband, this past weekend, there was a glimmer of me shining through our daughter. The part of me that relishes quiet surroundings, taking notes to archive the details, and creating our own little magic with the inspiration of nature.
I wonder if she will keep that part of me and forever embrace the creative process that is driven by solitude. There is nothing more that I want to teach to both of my kids, than to learn to tune out the noise of this crazy, fast paced world surrounding us and truly find and listen to the beat of your own heart.
No one can predict which hidden gems within our souls as parents, will be revealed later in our children. And as easy as it is to find ways that our children are mini versions of ourselves (which unfortunately prompts many parents to fulfill their own dreams vicariously through their kids), maybe we just need to recognize that this might be a brief point in time when they are just mirroring us. Exploring, testing, fulfilling their own desires so they can find their own branch that is strong enough to withhold the weight of their world.
As I watch with my own "bird's eye view", my amazing kids discover their world, I'm confident they will find their own way to climb to the destination of their choice, one that suits their needs best.
And maybe they won't want us to build a treehouse for them after all.
Mini Pumpkin Pies
(makes 24 servings)
This recipe is adapted from the back of the Farmer's Market Foods pumpkin puree can. I added a little more spice, and made my own easy pie crust, which is buttery, flaky, and added a lot of dimension to this recipe. If you don't have time to make your own crust, store bought versions would work too.
- 1- 15oz can Farmer’s Market Organic pumpkin (or just under 2 cups)
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. allspice
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (300ml/14 oz)
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 9” pie shell or pastry dough (I used my homemade pie crust recipe, found here)
- Mix pumpkin and spices together.
- Slowly beat in the milk and eggs, until just mixed.
- Follow the directions for making the pie crust. If using prepared curst, roll out the dough.
- Using a round cookie cutter, make about a 24 circles.
- Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners then place the crust circles in a muffin pan.
- Add the pumpkin filling in each crust (about 2 tbsp.)
- Bake at 400º for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350º and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Let cool.
Serve and enjoy!