Pass the hat

Hats off to parents who are able to convince their children to don all the right parts of a costume.
Also.  Hats off to parents who are able to convince their children that one piece of candy is enough.

Halloween 2013: 
Tuck was an explorer and collected candy in his net.  
Tollie was a cowboy and said "yee-haw" instead of "trick-or-treat."



He wakes up along the fading fringe of a dream, trying ardently to tell the tales he sees behind his eyelids.
He wakes up ordering new words for breakfast.
He builds stories like sand castles, shaping granules into grandeur.  It’s an inventiveness I hope will never be washed away but will get bigger with the tide of his burgeoning body of language.

He runs screaming, pretending to be scared, away from a small wooden chair.
Fock...kiss.  Fock-iss.  Fox.  
Fox.  Chair.  Eat!  Me!  
Here Fox,  Ball.  Play!
(fox, by the way, is currently my favorite word of his. He has to work so hard to say it.)

He understands concepts I’m certain I under-define, and architects new terms with accuracy.
He spends time scooping, spooning, shoveling, packing his brain like a pail, upending buckets and unveiling ideas for the world to see.
Determined and delightful, he owns the stories that he tells and the space that he occupies.

He also harbors a ghostly flicker of our girl.  Whether you're able to walk with us or not, please join us in remembrance of her on Sunday.



There's a pumpkin on the patio that the boys stop to sit on most times we venture out.  And they always look so cute.  Fortunately we keep the camera close to the back door.



His seems to be an old head on young shoulders.
The collar of his shirt is wet and wrinkled near his neck, a sign he’s been chewing on it, lost in thought.
I can almost hear what's on his mind, almost see his thoughts traveling upward.
Confusion serves only to light him on fire.  It's like his brain is blowing up with ideas.  And with a LOT of questions.
When his voice says “I don’t get it” his face usually suggests he’s ready to learn, every feature exhibiting the kind of curiosity that practically spells the word yet. 
I want him to survive the world with at least half the wonder he's so full of at four and a half.  And I want him to keep exploding.


underneath the noise

Most days it seems like there's a surplus of sound at our house.  There are slamming doors and laughter, loud burps and lots of thank yous, and those are just the acoustics of an ordinary Wednesday morning.  Their mostly happy racket could rival a hundred revelers, but I know our boys don't have a monopoly on commotion.
When they aren't fizzing, I hear what's in my own head.  MomMOMMOM.  Tuck tries to gather my scattered attention. Watch!  He shows me how he's threaded the yo-yo string through the ring on his Camelbak, a complicated pulley system that snakes under the DVD player and around the baby monitor and attaches to the block wagon handle, which, with a little push, gets the water bottle to his lips for a drink.  And which, with a bigger push from a little brother, makes a pretty cool CRASH.

Buh-doper book?  Tollie hands me a story about heavy machinery and we sit down together to read.  All those big trucks have their own sound effects, and I'm not nearly as qualified to make them as Daddy and Da-tuck, but I try.  Buh-doper big!  Buh-doper muddy muddy!  I'm pretty sure he dreams about driving bulldozers.

Through the volume, underneath the noise and behind the boisterous, are susurrations of life.  The shy request right after breakfast: Can we make some cookie bowder (batter), and the rustle of the chocolate chip bag.  The soft whispers of brothers hiding in a closet "treehouse" and the predictable din of plastic hangers hitting the floor.  The endangered sound of matchbox cars on windowsills, of loud music without explicit lyrics, of little boy heartbeats in tight hugs.
They're chasing each other in circles, Tuck town criering his way through the rules of the next game, Tollie nodding and yelling Okaaay.  They are whirlwinds and high speed trains, rocket ships and forest fires, and I'm not sure what's passed.  I have to pencil in quiet time or I think I might go nuts.  But when  nothing's drowning out my own thoughts and I do have a minute to dream, I dream bigger dreams for them than I ever dream for myself.


I have new smile lines.

The blog got a little quiet last week while our house filled up with friends for a few days.  A whole lotta yang caught up with any yin we'd been feeling and the only complaint we could come up with was that our cheeks hurt from smiling.  And then they got a little wet when everyone left yesterday.
Is there anything better than watching people you love show love to your children?  My heart lifted at the way Tuck and Tollie took immediately to extra parents, people who wiped noses and played ball, tied shoelaces and scooped guacamole into tiny open mouths.  Lucky boys.  Lucky us.


when the whole world is the winner

I got a text this afternoon from a friend who was driving home from work and saw a guy with a scraggly beard pushing a stroller with an American flag attached.  She knew it was Noah, and she knew exactly why he was running -- to raise awareness for children with Batten Disease.  From one side of the country to the other, he's making a world of difference.
Although we spoke to Noah several times during his first transcontinental run, we hadn't met.  It was good to give him a hug this evening.
Eight days into his first run across America, he called Celia in March 2011.  It was her fourth birthday, and the first day he dedicated his efforts to one child in particular.  I remember holding the phone to her ear so she could hear his voice.  He remembers crouching behind a dune in the middle of the desert, trying to escape the wind so that he could hear ours.  Tonight he got to meet her brothers, and in a few weeks he'll run for her again.  But really, everything he does is for her, and for all us, for the children who are sick, for their siblings, for their parents and extended family.  For a cure.
It's hard for Tucker, who is very interested in racing (and winning), to understand that Noah is running alone.  Or that when his feet get wet in the Atlantic ocean, he will win, but so will we.  

Read more about Noah's efforts
Follow Noah on Facebook
Visit Noah's website


Tic Tac Tollie


from the phone

to school on a Tuesday
hollering up to heaven's house
meat from the egg
empty turtle eggs
to Celia, love Dad
feels like fall

lull in the "pillow game"
shadow dancing
giant tailgate jenga
lunch with ducks
laughing at myself in the mail
new lights

late night with the neighbor ladies via jnferris
brisket for book club via kristinpotsy
Tuck's friend Toady
hard not to touch the crawdad
full cups on the way to a clambake
little friends, big reasons

eighty six degree October days
Captain Tolliver, "uppie"pilot
red-headed babies might be his favorite
punk at the patch
so big via rht3627
discovering they'd been BOOed