– Marcus Aurelius, in Meditations
With penny colored hair and courage to burn, with q-tips sticking out of both ears and cabinet-raiding guilt written across his face, he steps out of the bathroom. He is curious and silly and sharp as a tack. He can hold up two fingers and say the word “two,” but when you ask him how old he is he crosses his arms over his chest as if predisposed to noncompliance. Except he’s not. It’s just that he has the sensitivity of a divining rod, moods like weather fronts, just that he is experimenting with independence in the way that toddlers do. It's just that he is two. If you ask whether he’d like to read books he sing-songs yessir, yessir and the smile that spreads across his face rivals the sun.
Posted by Andy and Jenni at 9:30 PM
1. we do. #everyday
2. Uncle Adam taught Tols that pose
3. yard work
4. Audubon hike #fallfeelslikehcurch
5. cousins on a rock
6. cousins reading books
7. first snow
8. no reason is the best reason
9. Franklin Park via ccoyle0977
10. playing with his sister's doll house furniture #ghpl
11. Hocking Hills salamanders
12. glow sticks in the bath tub
13. collecting candy (with hats on!)
14. play dough for days
15. Buckeyes and Hawkeyes #nutsbeatbirds
16. big football fan
17. tantrum at Target
18. visiting Uncle John #princetonwitheinstein
19. #baddecisionswithgoodpeople via keg256
20. ant farmer
21. Rube Goldberg-ing #32tries
22. grocery entertainment at the lobster tank
23. Tollie and WALL-E
24. best boys in the world #pb&jazz
25. leaves with frogs
26. Garden of Constants
27. California cousin #happylap #3Ts
28. where choice and chance collide #idinamenzel #seeit
Posted by Andy and Jenni at 10:15 PM
We drove to the city to catch a show, sight-see, sleep... The locale was inconsequential really, but the things that never fail to refresh our patience and perspective felt imperative -- time away to be together, to break routine, to reconnect. We might’ve spent more hours in the car than on the ground, but we fit in a few fun things. And no matter how long we're gone, we're always glad to come home to a place that makes us feel like we should wag our tails, and to boys who, upon our return, would if they had one.
Posted by Andy and Jenni at 9:05 PM
At the same time, Tollie was hiding chunks of cheddar cheese under his dish. Alligator no eat meem cheese. Hide cheese. I asked him where the alligator was. Oh. Alligator all gone. He kept shoving pale orange cubes under the rim of the plate. Fox no eat meem cheese.
They are a shifting alliance of talker and listener, performer and audience.
I realize I write these things that make it sound like the boys play with their food all day long.
And they do, sometimes, but most of the time they eat it, too.
Posted by Andy and Jenni at 10:19 PM
I encouraged him to climb up on his booster for breakfast and pulled out a bag of spinach for him to share with his friend. He asked for dip dip, and although that usually means ketchup or peanut butter, in this case meant ranch. To make for a more balanced meal I offered bacon, and he promptly turned his strip into a snake. Snake eat leaf, too. I also gave him some grapes. He carefully stacked three spheres to make a showmeen.
Upstairs, undressed for a bath, his hands stirred the air as he spoke, No pee on rug, pee in potty. He sat and did his business, smiled and sought approval, Good boy, Mom-mom?
Yes, buddy. You sure are.
A good boy in so many ways.
Posted by Andy and Jenni at 8:51 PM
I look around the house and my soul feels frantic, my list feels long. I actively give myself permission not to figure everything out today. I'll do the same tomorrow.
They race matchbox cars and roll out pink playdough. They play with marbles and dream of flying. They give plastic dinosaurs life, and their imaginations give them life in return. I see their souls show up on the slate floor in the kitchen, pushing tractors and crashing blocks.
I'm only as busy as I allow myself to be. All the busy-ness feels like a kind of false accounting anyway. There is real value in standing there, being still. Stopping doesn't mean I'm not going to get where I'm going. Sometimes I am actually moving when I think I'm not.
Days of heavy traffic in the dining room are numbered. There's still room next to the snakes on the counter to cook. I stop rocketing through what I perceive needs doing and know that right now is something my future self will want to recall.
I whisper a simple song of gratitude for these busy boys, the best prayer I can offer. I'll do the same tomorrow.
Posted by Andy and Jenni at 9:46 PM