seizing the end of summer

Andy's at the back door, this year's second ripe peach in hand, his smile full of pride. Hank is behind him, a fistful of flowers neighbor Deb has taught him precisely where to cut to encourage new blooms.

Another week is sliding toward the weekend, the clock is ticking so loud in my ear. Another halftime show, another baseball game, another book for little brother on the sideline. 

We've been at the pool after school most days, trying to absorb enough sun to carry us through past Christmas. This evening Hank hosted a water ballon fight with the neighbors while Tucker helped husk corn to grill. After ribs and watermelon and dishes washed at the outside sink the boys ran to the grocery for vanilla ice cream to to go with the singular fruit. I emptied lunch boxes and arranged zinnias in a mason jar and monitored Tolliver's modeling glue situation at the counter nearby.

Last weekend, in addition to marching band and batting practice, Tucker was on a bike ride with friends and Tolliver was in the alley shooting hoops while Hank, after making pistachio cookies, watched a baking show on television. Most the time I don't even know where all of the boys are at once, and then suddenly there are six kids in the back yard and thirty five empty water cups on the patio table. I can't keep accurate records of all the lemonade stands and salsa parties, the hikes and the concerts and the good deeds and the garage piano, which deserves an entire essay of its own.

I think, though, these are actually the good old days.


3 6 9

Dear boys, 

I think we all have a spaghetti tangle of feelings about this fall, tender and raw and a tiny bit excited.
Back to school reminds me that it is not easy to be curious and afraid at the same time. A full life includes transitions, and we don't have to accelerate through the hard parts. Waking up early and being forced to sit still might be balanced by time with friends and travel ball and interesting assignments.

Hank, I can see the adventure that smiles from the threshold of your third grade classroom. May you feel peace as powerfully as progress this year.

Tuck, as you enter your freshman era, I know you'll discover ways to connect, to participate, to contribute. I hope you are always known for your kindness over any academic accomplishment.

Tolliver, it feels good to know that I can always trust you to walk the path of trying. Or to run ;) 
Please remember that I love you can also sound like Did you do your homework?

You three know I am a vigorous clapper of hands, and I'll be doing that for you (figuratively, not literally, mostly) like you’ve landed on the moon, all year long. Hand to my heart, guys, you are each my favorite.
Here's to the kind of school year we're all hoping for! 



photos lately

fun at the State Fair
gathering with Gills cousins
plus "fruit cake" with neighbor Deb