excessive celebration

Dear Tolliver,

You are, and always have been, so attentive to small details, the way fabric feels against your skin, the insect hovering around a clump of leaves at the side of the street, whose slice of pie is infinitesimally bigger. Your teachers tell us the same thing, about the ways you notice and watch and listen.

I find fascinating the way you can convert your urge to make noise into motion, your acrobatic attempts at silence. You are remarkably speedy, your still body transmuting in an instant to flying muscle.
You've learned that you're capable of handling big feelings, and that it's safe to experience emotional discomfort. Very interested in the precision of an outcome, you seem to have a deep, hard-wired need to be competent. It's hard for most of us to be a beginner at anything.
I admire your perseverance, the way a thought becomes stuck in your head, becomes a big boulder rolling downhill, lord help anyone who wanders in the way. I might admire it even more when you live in your own house.

We celebrated you with pumpkin pie and chocolate mousse and grocery store cupcakes, with a new rock tumbler and new books, with friends and cousins at a football party on the high school turf. You had so much fun. Your dad might've had more.

You love weapons and artifacts, Garfield and Nathan Hale, cheese puffs and peanut butter. You love being outside, carving rocks and cuddling cats and catching balls. And I love you. I love you more than your worst days, your messiest room, your terrible choices, your biggest mistake.

I think you know this, but it bears repeating: I call you my son but you belong first to you, and then in the hearts of so many.

All my love,


rht said...

Hard to believe that Tolliver is ten! Except that he contributes so much to conversations about nature and history... and looks out for his little cousins. It is fun to watch him becoming his own wonderful self!

Poppy John said...



and ROCK ON!!!! (HA)