well then

Not today, I tell the boys.

Sometimes life just writes you tiny, awful poems.

We can't.
It's closed.
Yes, but they say.
Watch this.

The boys reframe our circumstance, measuring everything - surprisingly, inevitably - against an endless horizon.


curious time

Blue was the color of summer
of the sky and the water and the
feelings we left inside


life at home

books, tattoos, climbing trees, water, watermelon, board games, baking, napping...


what wonders await

In the forest the boys follow footprints, hunting for burrows and hollows and nests, hiding places.
All three of them seem satisfied among the trees, thriving in nature, and it makes me feel that way too, or at least that satisfied and thriving are possibilities.
They turn tree roots into hopscotch games, inspect feathers and toadstools and stones. They bathe in shallow creek beds, skipping rocks and experimenting with things that float.
I look around, pockets heavy with acorns and pinecones and shells, and am reminded of the enormous smallness of it all. And while the boys find treasures I try to find a way to forgive myself for not knowing the unknowable.


heights and lowts

Listening to his brothers talk in whispered tones that turned to loud cackles, Hank said That's their inside joke. But I know an outside joke!

Noticing glitter at the fairy garden, he shouted That is SO COOL. A million perfections.

Hanging balloons for cousin Nora's birthday he requested they be tied at different heights and lowts.


even hard days have high notes

Birthday balloons and successful rocket launches, tin can robots and model airplane creations, water snakes and facetime checkers, trees to climb and cairns to construct and flowers to cut and all the other small graces the universe may loan.


the years

Tucker is sulking. He wants to ride bikes with friends. He wants more screen time. He does not want to unload the dishwasher. Maybe he's hungry. He surveys the pantry, sighs, scowls.
Three minutes later he's reading a book. Interrupted by the dryer signal, he smiles and comments on the cute little song at the end of a cycle, kind of celebratory, he decides.

We aim to allow for rich emotional range at home, while maintaining rigorous standards about tone and behavior. The combination of quarantine plus mixed up sentiment can make a person feel stuck, and we've all been challenged by the occasional mood.

Andy and I skipped our annual anniversary lunch at Lindey's last week, for the first time in eighteen years. Even patio dining, which is what we've always done anyway, felt like an unnecessary risk.
We visited a nature preserve instead, took the boys, who would've ordinarily been with grandparents for the day, on a hike. The years start coming and they don't stop coming, even in lockdown.

Hank has been talking about everything he will do when he is five. Remind me when the next March comes, he says. Age four seems to suit him fine now though, full of rainbows and sparkles, a perennial red carpet unfurling in his path. He recently discovered the perfume inserts in O magazine, and his heart is full of every color, he tells us.

Tolliver goes from clicking the old WWII location cricket to knapping flint, from sorting arrowheads to browsing remote controlled planes on ebay. Do pandemics spark avidity?
He also goes from mourning the loss of small summer rituals to the grand narrative of Maybe things are actually better this way.

I climb in bed to find both fake poop on my pillow and a fart noise machine under it. I will fall asleep having met my goals for the day - eat something green, see the sun, do not commit murder.  Tomorrow we will catch snakes and launch rockets and wade through creeks and eat cake, glad for every day that keeps coming.


doing the days

Wet feet and fresh air
fairy house fireworks and flint knapping
alphabet lessons and a steady supply of dirty laundry and big hugs.