Not pictured

Actually all three boys who live here are pretty excited about the season.


when gratitude wanes

This week it feels like the sun has shone without mercy, like the trees have been stingy with their shade.  Like the grass is too tall and her life was too short, like there are too many mosquitos and there will never be enough sleep.
Ours are, mostly, laments from a blessed and well-equipped life, and I am loath to admit we have any at all.  When I look past the late summer malaise I know we are lucky to be glum about so little.

For more information about this year's "walk" and to register for the event, visit Premier Sports' Battling Batten page.



Tuck's been trying to build a jet pack kite.  Inside, as ideas come to him, he talks through them aloud or asks for help sketching designs, wondering whether this or that might work.  Outside he puts his theories to work, undeterred by utter flops.  His list of reasons for needing to fly is almost as big as his portfolio of ideas, and his perseverance is remarkable.

A few days ago he said, Mom, do you think we could save the chicken bones and since my jet pack kite doesn't work yet we could send them to Colby tied to a balloon?  His eyes were bright, sparkling with life, intelligent in the way that knows too much and not enough all at once.  And when my throat reopened, I managed to answer: We could try

We've updated the Current Fundraisers tab, above, to include several ways -virtual and IRL-
to be part of our ongoing effort to raise money to fund important research through BDSRA and/or support hospice services for sick children and their families through the Pleasure Guild.


by any stretch

I used to be able to hold him in my arms, against my chest, and create a circuit of calm, the comforting comforting both of us.  Now he creates his own"circuits"  --batteries and wire and remotes, phone chargers and the baby monitor and one stray Nerf dart-- that stretch around the room.
He tied his tool belt around his waist, deliberately filling each section with kitchen contraband and junk drawer miscellany -- a slotted spoon and a meat thermometer, a calculator, a paint brush and some paper clips, all the things he'd need to build his own computer.  Occasionally calm, Tuck's more often a bundle of joyous activity, busy in ways that help me see his heart shining right through his imagination.


Hey Guys

We have photos of him happy and sad, silly and mad, showing off his muscles and singing Baa Baa Black Sheep accompanying himself on the whisk.
What we don't seem to have, though, is a recent one of him waving.  He used to say hi, his fingers dancing slowly up and down.  That greeting morphed into a friendly hello, bright and full of bravado.  Tonight at the pool he was transfixed by a female lifeguard, young, blonde, tan, and with one arm in the air, he tried to get her attention with, "Hey guys!"   


growing, going, gone

The shadows slant differently at the end of an August day, marking the second half of the season.  The boys don’t notice.  They’re still busy acting like the sun rises and offers a smorgasbord, like the sun sets out a feast as it falls.  They eat it up, like it’s one big buffet, the ice cream and the dirt and the watermelon and the bird droppings and the bugs.  I sense it though, the relief and the regret, summer’s almost over.
We squeezed a lot in -- just last week we visited the zoo and the pool, the food truck festival and the topiary garden, a neighbors' backyard happy hour and three outdoor meals with family.  But there are so many things left to do on the list, parks and caves and museums and fountains.  The season, full of days I recognize as memories even as they’re happening, feels as fleetingly precious as the boys' one and four year old selves.
It also feels crushingly sad, in ways I can't even explain to myself.  School started last week, and I found myself wishing we had reason to attend the ice cream social, to meet the teacher, wishing I had a little hand to hold, and to let go.  Another milestone I must carefully manage my imagination around lest I completely lose my mind.


Reach for it

There's a rhythm in the way he reaches for the world
Is it safe? Is it fragile? Can I touch it? Do you approve?
and we render our best response.
Keep reaching, big guy.  Reach and reach and reach.


gently down the street

Tonight Tucker asked for noodles and meatballs for dinner, and I realized I'm not really sure when he quit calling them meatbulbs.
Yesterday in the bathtub he said, Mom, you know all that water goes down the drain into a big underground resev-water?
He talks regularly about his friend Little Molly, and shows off the carton-wheel maneuver he learned from her.
It took me three days to figure out when he was telling Tolliver about the old crows bones he was referring to the flag in his pirate book.
Despite these malapropistic examples, Tuck has a firm grasp on language.  When he turned two Tucker was talking in paragraphs.  Tolliver, still several months shy, kicks balls and jumps over buckets, makes colanders act as catcher's mitts and turns branches into bats.  If the developmental rate of his motor skills has seemed fast, he runs faster.  And now words are coming quick from him too.  He says multisyllabic things like mosquito and octopus, and words for stuff he dreams about, like chocolate and juice.  Last week he saw officers on horseback and talked about the mounted oh-pees all day.  He repeats phrases he's heard Tuck say, like I did it! and iPad game? and I know.

And I know Tollie's toddler skills may never translate to success on a field, and Tuck's proclivity to speak doesn't mean he'll always say the right thing.  I know we probably shouldn't make comparisons between them, but the observations come anyway and are not at all critical.
The boys won't always be in the same boat, but I sure hope wherever the tide of their time together takes them, they'll mostly row together.


He's like the world's leading expert

He left a library book on the front porch, open to the page about keeping hissing cockroaches as pets.
He left holes in the neighbors' backyard where he and a friend tried to build an ant colony last night.
He left locust wings and spider exoskeletons under a glass cloche at Grandma's house where his collections are officially on display.
There've been some tears when ticks and mosquitos are tread upon, some disagreement over the definition of "pests."
There's a new game on the computer that he's both obsessed with and a little distressed by, because bugs fall pretty low in the food chain.
There's this certainty that every time I misidentify an insect the world might implode.



Even though I’ve been a mama for a few years, there’s still a lot of blind forging.  I collect quotes and I carry snacks and I'm fairly confident in my work.  But as much as I want to do things like a good mother, most of the time I don’t know what I’m doing until I’m doing it.  I guess the only mattering part is that I’m doing it.  Whatever it is, I’m doing it.  Mothering in all of its holy minutiae, admiring the "dinosaur skull" and soaping up the stinky feet, most of the time, I'm doing it with my whole heart.


from the phone

Block party via bflymommy
Sittin' with Celie in Ankeny
four cousins at the fair
making ice cream with aunts
solo breakfast
anniversary lunch

probs not a Pin-worthy centerpiece #matchboxcars
Picnic with the Pops
little Tolliver, living up to his name
fountains at Easton
Poppy's cycle
catching turtles

every day adventuring
post pool worm digging
bedtime books
post rain snail searching
dinos at the zoo via rht3627

applesauce with RoRo
deconstructing with Grandpa Rod via rht3627
orange waves, reminiscent of her hair
from nature and neighbors and nieces
doughssants are delicious
hiking, except not

Billy Porter deserved that Tony #gettinkinky
lounging on the High Line
the August salad: mesclun, peaches, almonds and goat cheese
these boys are the best