another year

Another year fades past and I feel a small pinch of despair in my chest - Did I love it enough?
This might be as lovely as life gets.  These are the days.

The way Tolliver climbs under the back of my shirt as if we are, together, a horse and he is the rear, because it always gets a reaction and he always winds up with my attention.
The way Tucker talks, endlessly, about Minecraft and everything in me leans forward to listen even though I have only minor interest and not a single spark of comprehension.
This is it.  These are the days.

Sometimes what they do falls against the backdrop of what their sister did not get to do.  I try not to let missing her get in the way of loving them.  But I think of her often.

I hope the boys never grow out of naps and pixar movies and goldfish crackers and milk.  And I hope, so hard, that they grow up.
I wish their childhoods could be frozen like flies in amber, for me to pull off the shelf and admire in my old age. But I cannot wait to watch them outgrow themselves over and over.
Isn't that what we signed up for, to raise children into adults?  For the wrinkles and the gray hair, for all the shades of progress.  For the increasingly autonomous seasons of parenting, with permission to miss, just a little bit, the prior.
The piles of laundry and the lines on my face are evidence of the absolute privilege of being alive, of the absolute privilege of being allowed to steer these boys toward their best selves.

They make me laugh and cry in all the good ways, and I tell them I love them all the time, but I want to be better at telling them why.

Tucker, I love the way you ask questions. The way What do you call a flock of sea turtles?  It's not a flock, is it? comes from somewhere behind whatever I am working on, so I stop and we look it up and before I can even finish reading the answer you are wondering another wonder.  

Tolliver, I love the way you light the world on fire, the way you press all the buttons and hug me in between.  I want you to know that the fire that pushes us both to the edge, the one that occasionally makes it hard for me to breathe, will one day make poetry and peace.  I believe your light is a gift to the world, and to me.

I hope we are doing right by them, making the best decisions, leading them to good choices without smothering or neglecting them.  Setting decent expectations, giving them the kind of restrictions that provide both support and something to push against.

I look back at the year and wonder where it's gone, wonder whether I did okay.
Some days I don’t get a single thing crossed off my to-do list, and I have to remind myself that loving someone is doing something.
I could not love them more.

Note:  Sometimes it's hard to shrink thoughts into sentences and paragraphs, and for whatever reason, I feel like this should still just be a draft, like it's not polished enough to be published as an end-of-the-year thing, but maybe posting something is better than nothing.  And also, it's called a bale.


Christy said...

Oh my gosh! How do you do it? That was beautiful. I love your perspective and wish I were just a tad as good as you are putting my thoughts into words.

Unknown said...

Perfectly said as always. Xoxo