moving with us

Several people have asked whether it was hard to leave the only place Celia ever lived.
The answer is no, not really.
A wise friend advised us to remind the boys that our memories would be moving with us. Telling ourselves the same thing reminded us that would include the ones of her, too.

Along with memories of her, we moved a tree.  Taking care of it will help us all focus less on the missing and more on the keeping alive.





Freshly Picked


What color?

Sometimes I wonder whether our children will know how to run a proper vacuum. Will they know how to count coins, how to brew their own coffee, how to grow their own food? I mean, we can teach them most of these things. But their world is full of so many time-saving tricks – of fridges that order groceries, of hovering discs that sweep the floor, of drive-thrus and instant dinners and temperature controlling apps, of baristas and high-speed blenders that make pints of juice in eight seconds flat.

Sometimes I wonder what the boys will do with all of this extra time, all of the hours that are saved or borrowed or stolen. Will they spend days dreaming or staring at a glowing screen? Will they play instruments or play tennis or play with their own children, will they invent solutions or bake cookies or take naps or create art? What color will their minutes be?


to what feels possible

All three boys have the same enormous dairy cow eyes, shiny and trusting. They have watched us cut grapes into a million unchokable pieces, watched us blow on their scrambled eggs and carefully trim their fingernails and circle around trying to find a parking spot.

When we told them that we were moving their focus adjusted, like the lens of a camera. In the past, the surest way to get their undivided attention like that was to sit down and look comfortable.
There is nothing perfect about the bungalow we bought. The 1940s structure is showing its age and the interior layout feels too cramped for our family. But the location seems ideal :: The house is on a double lot, adjacent to a wooded park that will provide way more outdoor play space. It's less than two blocks from our old house, still within walking distance from the library and the pool, close to the main streets and the lively downtown area, and nearby lots of neighborhood friends.

We're not really sure what we've gotten into. Someday the boys may be shocked to learn that adulthood is not synonymous with certitude. Like so many things in parenting, and in life, all we can do is commit ourselves to what feels possible and beneficial, and hope that it all works out.

Demolition began yesterday, two dumpsters full already.
The boys laid claim to the woods quickly, and have solid plans for a treehouse. They occasionally check in to grab snacks and tell us about the discoveries they've made, big eyes sparkling.
We're hoping the value of the renovation lies less in the scale of the work and more in the potential satisfaction that might come as a result of committing to the quality of their lives.


Suite in C

Tucker performed in his second piano recital last weekend.  He played two movements from Suite in C :: Classic Fanfare and Jolly Jig.  He spent lots of time preparing each piece.
Last night after baseball practice Tucker explained that he'd chosen, with some help from Grandpa Tim, a favorite baseball player.  He picked Cal Ripken not for a record breaking number of homeruns or for his shortstop skills, but because Cal never missed a game.
For us, one of the best parts of each week is watching Tucker take piano lessons. His instructor is brilliant, seamlessly weaving in theory and science and history, and also showing interest in Tucker's life outside of music, asking about school and sports and travel.
We are proud of Tucker not so much for his progress and proficiency, but for his dedication to practicing.
And we are grateful for the support of friends and family who came to hear him play.
If you missed it, there's video below, thanks to Grandpa Rod!


They've all helped make me a mother.

I made mostly good choices growing up because I wanted to be the kind of person she already thought I was. 
I make mostly good choices now because I want to be the kind of mother they already believe I am.


Don't you want to be alive before you die?

Tollie's been talking a lot about frogs and toads lately.
Although he let go the two toads the boys caught last week, he has several small, bright green toy frogs that leap around the dining room table during meals and hide stealthily under wooden block bridges and give each other piggy back rides slash mate.
He draws elaborate scenes with amphibians in every shade of green.
And now there's a new bucket of tadpoles on the back patio, feasting on romaine from RoRo's garden and growing bigger under careful scrutiny.
This morning Tollie was worried about where we'd set the tadpoles free, afraid that they might be scared of predators in the river and have to spend their days hiding behind rocks.
We talked a little about risk versus reward, about how the frogs might have happier lives exploring a big river full of things that might eat them than safe(ish) in the small plastic container on the table here.
Coincidentally, today was Tolliver's last day of preschool.


I see you!

Sometimes I worry that into this busy mix -- baseball practices and blueprint revisions, piano recitals and big kid playdates -- we're pouring our wee babe’s irreplaceable first year. It sounds ridiculously dramatic, I know. And maybe that's part of what it means to be a third/fourth child... they join the family, rather than create it.  Still, I just want to be sure I'm paying enough attention.


a start

More than once in our fifteen year marriage it's felt like we've been speeding into things with our eyes closed. But our hearts have been open and our hands have been joined, and that’s a start.