The boys go from digging foxholes in the woods to roasting tiny potatoes at the chiminea, from heating pestled catnip leaves for "herbal" tea to an on-bikes-about-town effort at procuring more engines to launch rockets (spoiler alert, the hobby shop guy wouldn't allow a gaggle of ten year olds to purchase the parts).
The boys are curious and full of energy. So much energy.
There is a graveyard along the treeline, with an ever-growing collection of animal bones and sacrificial gifts from the cats. There are enough loomed potholders for the entire neighborhood, and a plethora of elaborately painted rocks, piano songs played without music, paintings hung on the fridge.
The boys are sensitive and expressive.
There are chalk drawings on the driveway and library books all.over.the.place. Still, the boys become bored enough to poke holes in shoes with sharp objects, to bury another rabbit carcass, to invent a new version of backyard baseball with a water bottle bat and shorter baselines.
The boys are creative and inclusive.
I relax in the gentle focused activities, the baking and the puzzling. And I try to revel in the chaos and motion too, the fierce existence of a world we so deliberately helped create. I notice when the boys are calm and when they are competitive, celebrate when they are kind and invite conversation when they are not. The boys are all sorts of things the world has so far told them to be, and not to be.
And they are forever loved.