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.
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.