And when she smiles

it's usually so great big that it spreads to my face, too.

If you haven't checked the Current Fundraiser tab under the header recently, please do.  There's a sale this weekend (in Columbus) at which the raffle and twenty percent of most sales will benefit BDSRA.



April Cried

On Monday afternoon, great black clouds spread blotchy shadows over the neighborhood like spilled grease.  And then brushed by early evening sun, a wide wash of light invited us outside.  Following the downpour, the earth sent up the rich odor of soil.  And after all the wind, the pear trees sent down swirls of foliage that paved our path with milky petals.

Outside the scent of lilac is almost sippable.  Forsythia screech their golden heads at the sky, while ferns and hosta hustle toward the sun.  Puddles of purple circle rhododendron roots and redbuds sprout bubble gum flowers from brown winter sticks. 
As a result of all the recent rain, everything is blooming in ridiculous splendor.  This spring, new life feels less like an assault and more like an invitation to follow suit, to cry a little, but to grow more.



On Easter Day the veil between time and eternity thins to gossamer.  
~Douglas Horton



Tucker called out, during a fairly quiet part of this morning's service, "Christ is risen!"
Although not particularly appropriate, it didn't seem to strike anyone as inappropriate either...


Let Me

“Let me,” his eyes plea.  “I can do it,” comes off him in pulses.  “Please,” his mouth repeats.
There he is, balanced precariously on the fulcrum between reliance and independence, fighting vehemently for the latter.  I try not to meddle with the course, although sometimes I'm tempted to rush what he is becoming and other times I wish the process would take a slower path. 
This week the scale tipped toward needing me.  He’s been a barnacle, clinging to my body and making me simultaneously claustrophobic and wishing for even more snuggles.  Tired and puny, his head droops like a spent daffodil on the stalk of his neck.  “Let me,” I think as I gather him up and press his warm cheek against my own.


In Town

Last night we took Celia to a dinner party downtown.  There's a Serbian neurologist visiting this country for a month, trying to learn as much as she can about Batten Disease.  We were glad to introduce Celie to Dr. Kravljanac while she was in Columbus.
Celia spent part of the evening in Lance's arms, and I heard him whisper to her -more than once- that she's the prettiest girl in town.
He's right.



Life doesn’t always feel like smooth sailing along heaven's highways, but more like daily grinding through a maze of back alleys elsewhere.  If I read them, the street signs might point to bad news.  
It's a conscious choice, the one I make to follow the lead of the neighborhood tulips and hold my head high.  Strength is there, and gratitude is there, even when sufferance rams through the center of it all.  I circle back and -with eyes wide and perspective unzoomed- upon second glance, see it. 
There is gospel in those flowers, and in pretty much everything with which I surround myself.
And I see it.



His drink spilled.

The dictionary defines the word "boy." 
He demonstrates it.



Time for Bed

It's time for bed, little goose, little goose
The stars are out and on the loose.
It's time for bed, little cat, little cat
So snuggle in tight, that's right, like that.
It's time for bed, little calf, little calf
What happened today that made you laugh?
It's time for bed little sheep, little sheep
The whole wide world is going to sleep.

From the book by Mem Fox.



There's an alphabet print on Tuck's bedroom wall, and magnetic letters in several locations.  There are foam letters in the tub and he often sleeps with a boxed set of Eric Carle's animal-alpha cards.  We sing "the ABCDs" regularly.  We read books, some specific to letters, like "Big A, little a, what begins with 'A'?"  We carve hard-boiled eggs into 'O's and shape carrots into 'L's.  We say things like "buh-buh-banana, what letter does banana begin with?"
There is no formal practice, no preschool-readiness regimen.  Alphabetic acquisition happens at the grocery store, in the car, at the kitchen table.  Tucker points to letters on hats, searches for them on signs, names them on the keyboard.  He calls the zoo the "zee-oh-oh".  He knows to go "down and across" to make a 'T'.  He matches big and little letters and he sings "the M says mmm."  He traces 'X's in the sand and turns over a 'U' to make an 'n.' 
I know this is all very normal two-year-old activity, but it's a level of learning we haven't visited with our own child before.  And it just leaves me thinking: OMG, he's so smart.


My ambition exceeds my vocabulary

The blog sits, like a sink full of dirty dishes.
My worry, and my words, are typically night owls.  But lately my words sleep.  And so should I.
So I'll go to bed, like every night, holding the simple hope that I -and the rest of my little family- will wake to touch tomorrow.



The price of love is loss,
But still we pay,
We love anyway.
But still we pay.

Lyrics from Broadway's Next to Normal.



Tucker and I regularly spend three days together, every weekend, alone.  I wouldn't trade my time with him for the world.  But sometimes that time stretches and it feels as though I could hold each second in my palm, palpate it before it's on its way.  My tired state conjures infinity while his self-discovery gets too close to self-destruction.  Sinkholes suddenly open up between dawn and lunch time.  My repertoire of entertaining activities vaporizes while he and Colby rumble underfoot like boiling water.

Sometimes though, a long, empty day can be salvaged.