For the way they look at each other.

We heard from many of you about the challenges of age three.  There's something in knowing we're not alone as we try to teach Tuck the ropes and he tries to, well, jump over them.  The days may feel dreadfully slow but we know they are also viciously fleeting.  Thank you for helping us focus on the fleeting part. 
His popped-balloon face, despite ice cream in hand.

It's been cold.  Unseasonably so, the last gasp of winter trespassing on the first full month of spring.  We had heavy coats out earlier in the week, battling the wind on the way to the playground.  The wind won't win when the sun is shining.

I am grateful for the sun.  I am grateful for a healthy three year old. I am grateful. But not all the time.  I try, and often fail - when they're crying or refusing a bottle or disobedient or just three - to summon gratitude for my living children.  I try, with partial success, to remain grateful for having carried their sister to term, for having shared nearly five years in the world with her.  For the knowledge that she drew her last breath from a nest of loving arms.  For a long list of things that deserve more than just transient thanks. 


  1. Love the look , your words & lilacs!!

  2. I believe they are already conspiring!

  3. I think for everyone, but especially for those us with special circumstances, the pressure to be thankful for what we DO have is great and overwhelming. Life is not always sunshine and roses...even if your kids are alive and healthy. I'm glad you were able to put it into words so eloquently.

  4. Oh Tollie, that look says it all. I'm equally as scare of three-year-olds as you appear, you sweet baby!

    I have no idea who came up with Terrible Twos. It's a farce. And just when you think, "Wow, I got through that Terrible Two phase relatively unscathed!", they turn three and all hell breaks loose!


  5. his face speaks of such change, wistful hopes. it does me good to know there are other parents out there who don't want to show the most vulnerable faces of their children after such a loss. this is a delicate way to show without stripping him of his dignity.

    it's ok to not always feel grateful. i think there's a difference between the feeling and the state of being.

    beyond a doubt anyone who reads what you write knows you have gratitude for Celie. that doesn't mean you feel the thankfulness every day. and that's ok.

  6. Love both these pictures - *all* your pictures.

    Thank you.

    Cathy in Missouri

  7. Lord, I have those days-the ones where I tell myself over and over throughout the day that I am thankful for all that I have in my life. Sometimes the weight of working and mommyhood leave me feeling much less-than, despite my best efforts to think otherwise. Thank you for sharing this very open and honest post and picture of Tucker-it makes you seem human because you do a LOT mama, and I often wonder how you do it all. Hugs and love.