Virtual school has not left much room for contribution or possibility or insight.
What it has given our family is a lot of flexibility.

We field tripped to a metro park in the middle of the week, to practice archery skills and admire invasive yellow flowers, to identify creatures and wade in creeks. It feels so good to take the boys places where they can spend the day engaged in things that do not indicate any impending disassembly of their contentment.


all the emergence

I wander around the yard, not doing any work, just taking in all the emergence. 
Just trying to ignore all the dirt. 

The mason bees have hatched. Bulbs are sending scouts toward the sun, and buds blink open from branches. Mother Nature’s to-do list seems steadily ticked off. Mine, not so much. 
I basically just feed the boys, and fold laundry. Plus manage school at home.

The guy loading groceries into the back of the van this afternoon wondered how many refrigerators we have. Not sure fridges matter as much as the mouths of three growing boys.

All around me life appears in a state of anticipation, seasons and meals and immunity alike, and it feels like a certain forward movement may prevail.



and family and candy and sunshine! 
And snakes, because boys.


northern flickers

Tolliver spent much of the morning watching birds out the back window. He noticed one we hadn't seen before, and identified it using google and a guide book, based on the color of its nape and the sound of its call. He knew there were ants in the yard where the bird was pecking, and that food source plus a text exchange with the next door neighbor helped solidify his conviction. 

For the better part of an hour he watched the bird and I watched him, and I wondered, when the world feels shaky in one area, whether our instinct may be to double down on certainty in another.


the kitchen runway


a flash

Hank often sounds like a lawyer, speaking in the least straight-forward way possible. His language is not ornate but it is sometimes tortured, taking routes around and under what he means to say rather than just stating it outright.

I feel like I'm gonna be lopsided, since I only got growing pains in one leg last night.
I did wake up at 8:21 but I was trying to sleep 39 more minutes till 9 o'clock.
Can you measure me on the wall?

I try to explain that I'm thinking, that I'm working on something and need a minute, that I will be able to listen well in a little bit. That I'd like to finish my coffee.
He hears nothing but the absence of No, his voice like a speeding train, veering from left to right when confronted with a switch.

Do you know how to portal into books?

Why do people have to feed their souls? Do you think souls need protein?

You know the stripes that come up from girls' eyes in pictures? What are those called again?

Where do you see my stamina running out?

Settling himself on my lap while I take a few more sips of caffeine, studying a spot on my hand where a bandaid had been the day before: 
Your cut isn't bleeding anymore, now it's just like a blood cave.
Did it hurt? I don't think you cried. 
When I'm crying I usually sort of see a flash of rainbow through my tears. 

I feel like I could say a thousand things about him, a gathering storm, but somehow all the words seem used up.


mud season

It's like a fifth season around here, really.
Mud aside though, sunshine and a change of scenery and even a snake make family happiness feel a little less like a fragile thing.