in the tree tops

The big boys had a brother camp out in the treehouse, complete with late night hike through the dark woods, s'mores and lightning bugs, plus an early morning bike ride to have breakfast at a favorite local diner.


narrator : Hank Betz

It used to be that I narrated his days.

These are eggs. They are fragile. That yellow part is the yolk. It is bursting!
Careful, the stove is hot.

Let's put shoes on, right foot, left.
Those are flowers. Take a whiff! They touched your nose!

See the spider web? Oh, you found a puddle. You're going to need a bath.

Through the door.
The water is warm. That is a circle. This is a zipper.

Time for a rest.
Please don't touch the trash. Let's read a book. Would you like milk?

That is a zebra, that is a skyscraper, that is a bulldozer, there is the moon.

Now, Hank talks. Incessantly. Non-stop narration.

His words are gentle and fascinating. He says, without saying, take my hand, let me tell you about the universe. Also let me tell you about this toy and that small scrap of string and do you hear that noise and what is your favorite color, but white is not in the rainbow. And may I please have another snack and I need to pee and where are we going today, I like to go to the pool, I can do a giant cannonball and I can wear the goggles Lucy gave me and we can take cherries for a snack and did you buy more cherries at the grocery because we ate them all yesterday and I want to make a fruit hat, I do not want to take a rest.

These are my nerves. They are fragile.
This is my heart. It is bursting.



Such a small word for a big day!



We'd never taken the boys to Yellow Springs, so spent a day exploring Glen Helen recently.
We arrived at the raptor rehabilitation center just as the birds were being fed lunch - tiny turkeys and rats and venison. We walked along limestone cliffs and looked at waterfalls, the boys calling from ahead for us to notice something, never hanging around to see if we had. We marveled at cathedrals of green, all the gauzy layers of moss and leaves, sunlight dappling. The boys found crawdads and salamanders along the creek edge, and were fascinated by Hopewell mounds and rock formations, and I tried to ignore all the dirt, tried to take in the complex web of growth, green and human.



The seasons that run smoothly for me are, unsurprisingly, the ones that involve focus and order. The routines, the boundaries, the guidelines – I’m wired for those things.
Midsummer now and those things, the routines and the order, seem to have fallen by the wayside. Like, the wheels have fallen off the wagon.
I am learning, though, that time in abundance is the best. Time to be bored, to be hot and lazy, to feel like there is simply nothing else to do but curl up on the couch with a handful of wheat thins and a stack of whatever has been languishing unread by the side of the bed.
To leave wet towels in a heap, to listen to the boys bicker until they sort it out, to let the pool count as a shower and to hold myself unaccountable for what might have gotten done.
To sit and watch the spectacular burst of grapefruit as the sun burns itself out.


little brothers

Tucker has been away at camp all week, and while the little boys have missed him, they've had some fun too. They built forts and watched movies, played in rain puddles and at the pool. They baked blueberry muffins and read books together and bothered each other a lot.
Tolliver had a private tennis lesson plus his own trip to the zoo, and Hank enjoyed a science-of-snow class at the library; it was good for all of us for them to have some time apart.
Still, they convinced us to let them try a brother sleepover this evening.



stop and think

Sometimes I'm asked if I ever stop and think Whoa, we have three boys.
And I'm like NO. I never have time to stop and think.
Except occasionally, and then it's mostly just about how lucky I am.