Friday, July 02, 2021

the beauty of familiarity



Each moment we have is a window in time. We cannot duplicate the picture; it's given to us for just that, the moment. The constant ebb and flow of each season in life keeps us ever-changing, even in the quiet places. 

When we spend time with friends from afar it is always sweet and the memories we make together are treasured in my heart because those times together change us, enrich us and (hopefully) make us a better version of ourselves. When life throws the impossible at us, we can keep moving forward and keep hope in our hearts through the strength we are given by those who love us and whom we love well. 

As an adult I now comprehend how profound was the influence of other adults - beloved friends of my parents - who invested their time, energy and love into my sisters and me. I am so grateful as I watch my own beloved friends investing in the lives of my children, and knowing that their willingness to build into them, admonish them, challenge them, inspire them will alter the course of my boy's lives, for the better.




















Recently, I have realized that I find comfort in the familiar... in the tree that waits for me at the top of "my hill" every day, in the breve latte from my favorite coffee shop with my favorite baristas, in the relative sameness of my morning routine. It fosters a sense of belonging. In every hike up my hill I find something new (in myself and in what is around me), inspirational and I'm always surprised by it! Each time I see my favorite baristas and order the same drink ("The Eryn"), I learn more about them and my love for them, as individuals, as fellow humans, grows richer. I care about the things that happen in their lives, I cry with them, I laugh with them, I hurt for them, I rejoice with them, because I know them and that matters. In this culture, time period we live in, so much is superficial and the notion of shared lives is all but lost. We replace the repetition of coffee shop encounters with drive-thru purchases at the most convenient caffeine distributor in our busy rush to the next big thing, or simply the next thing on our list. We sacrifice face-to-face (heart-to-heart) conversations to our cell phones and iPads. We seek new adventures when we should be relishing the beauty of the familiar. I love and pursue adventure, but ultimately it is the life where I am rooted, in the familiar, in the simple treasures of what I know deeply, that I value most. It is the deeply vested relationships near and far that give me wings to fly, or simply feet to keep walking. :-)
















 

Friday, June 18, 2021

Cheek, cheek, cheek... COW!!!







Almost every morning Lochlan saunters into our bedroom to come alongside our bed and cuddle up to my face. He lays his cheek against mine, pats my cheek, saying "Cheek, cheek, cheek cheek". When I smile and respond with "cheek" his face lights up and he uses sign language and also a very loud voice to say, "COW!" Then, giggles prodigiously. CRACKS. ME. UP! It's his own little inside joke. If he didn't love Rosey the Cow so much, I might be tempted to find it less than a compliment, but I'm completely confident it is a term of utmost praise and flattery. :-) 

I have almost every day said that I cannot and will not ever tire of seeing (being in awe of) the mountain that stands outside my house. But, let me assure you that hearing Lochlan's voice - WORDS! Actual words - far surpasses any sentiments I may have about that magical mountain. The miracle of it does not elude me - EVER. Paugie has asked me for the past 4 years what I would want more than anything in the world: I have always told him, "For Lochlan to talk." We have many mountains yet to climb, but this mountain... we are climbing and we are not failing. 








The daily wrestle of the man and the boy inside of Madigan continues. Some days it seems to want too tear him apart and some days it seems the two are in harmony with one another working toward the stronger individual and beautiful human inside. I LOVE when I still see the boy so alive and strong in Madigan's imagination, in his ability to play (genuinely PLAY) alongside his brothers in that imaginary world, to watch him hold/hug/adore his stuffed bears and commiserate with their emotions (which they still copiously express to him), and to marvel that he still takes delight in childish wonders. If I could slow time and keep him in this fragile place of boyhood... I would. I think there must be something so profoundly important developing inside his personhood in all of these elements. But the strong, courageous, compassionate, hard-working, inquisitive, hopeful man inside of him is blossoming alongside the boy. They are growing together, as one, but I know eventually the boy will be forced to give way to the man and it will be good and right. And I pray that the boy inside of Madigan is preparing/equipping the man for the life he is to be about, the life he is given to live well. 











Kelton is full of goodness and his struggle to act on that goodness and not be tempted by naughtiness - it's real. He has such a desire to do what is right. He seeks advice, asks for help, in every way he can perceive he sets himself up to succeed, but those pesky bad decisions still manage to haunt him periodically. I often find him praying, eyes closed, hands white-knuckled together, underneath a tree, asking God to help him make right decisions and then often ending the prayer with "Please come home soon. I'm ready and want to be in a place that isn't broken." My heart loves him so crazy much; Oh for the wisdom to guide him and encourage him and admonish him, to build him up. I believe his genuine struggle as a boy is strengthening him for the man he is to become. I think the world needs him and that having some of the rough edges a bit sanded down will make him that much stronger/wiser/kinder/steadfast in what is what should be and in the path that has been prepared for him. 










Paugie - be still my heart. He is such a lover, and so much also a pest. Kelton is his primary target for all things irritating, and he rarely lets up. He very often wakes up earlier than the rest of us and starts a pot of tea water, makes his bed and gets our morning started right. He never wakes up in a bad mood. He needs hugs and gives them to all of us all day long and we have hearts that are so much more full of love because he IS. And that little pesky portion nicely rounds out the overflowing abundance of lovely human that he is. Poor Kelton. I tell them every single day that one of the greatest gifts they have been given is each other. To have a brother beside you in life/for life - I believe that gift cannot be underestimated, for there is no value that can define it or be placed upon it. I remind them that they are rich, because they are together. Today, as they cranked to each other about some minute nothingness, I gave them the same infernal speech and they stopped, looked at each other and said that they were so glad they were brothers. There was not another cranky encounter in this day. They worked alongside one another in harmony, and played in unity. Even a few hours in the right direction is the RIGHT DIRECTION! And maybe the right direction may be easier to find in future encounters with their humanity toward/with one another. 

If I should be given tomorrow, I will count it a gift... again.