Wednesday, July 19, 2023

To be forgotten...

Live now. 

I was talking with my mom this week on our road trip to Oregon. She commented that it's rather alarming to realize that in 100 years no one is likely to remember any of us. Even the details of historical figures with well-documented lives get fuzzy and incoherent. Those individuals are rarely remembered for the WHO that they were, even if they are remembered for what they might represent in the timeline of history. 

Is this a tragedy? I don't think so. It seems to me that we are placed in the timeline of history, in the place(s), alongside the people where we are supposed to be. Sometimes, our journeys are fraught with heartache, danger, pain and/or insurmountable challenges, and yet we cannot jump around on the timeline and wishing for what could be or what could have been does not alter our reality. What we do with that reality is very much our responsibility in many ways. 

My friend told me about these beautiful drawings - works of art - that are carved into the sand along the ocean. Artists come and devote themselves to creating masterpieces for others to enjoy. My friend told me that last time she went down to see those art pieces, she spent a good part of the time just watching the audience and their response(s) to the art. She said it was mesmerizing. It made me think... our lives are so much like that. We can create masterpieces in the contours of the sand, changing those who are in our lives for that window in time, knowing that the tide will come in someday and those masterpieces will likely be forgotten. The tide is predictable and dependable, a motivator to not waste time, to build those momentary masterpieces. Or Instead of beauty, we can write words of disgust/filth in the sand. We can write nothing at all. The choice is ours. 

We must decide what to do with the time we are given. To do well with what I am given... it is the burden of responsibility that tucks me in a night and very much determines the course for the day I awaken to. I fail more often than I succeed - breaking hearts, disappointing those I love, faltering when I should be bold, yielding to weakness instead of moving forward in strength (that may or not be my own), becoming overwhelmed in my struggle(s) when joy waits to surprise me, and simply not doing all that I am supposed to do with this life in this time. And yet... I do sometimes succeed. And there is beauty in that. I find my strength is rarely my own. And as long as my borrowed breath is still mine, I will endeavor to draw beautiful paintings in my sand. 

Friday, July 14, 2023

My 10 year old is in Kindergarten

 Four years ago, I wrote in one of my entries that if Lochlan would use one word - even a swear word - I would be overcome with joy.  I remember the day Lochlan not only used a swear word, but used it in the appropriate context. I was not mortified. :-) It was a miracle for a kid who did not speak until he was almost 7 years old. 

So, now, my 10 year old beloved boy is starting Kindergarten curriculum. He is watching education videos and his teacher assists him in the activities that go along with the curriculum. He is learning phonics, shapes, colors (most of which he already knows), math, pre-reading, etc. And he is retaining it. Again, my heart is rejoicing. 

I know Kindergarten seems rudimentary to parents who have kids who have developed in the standard, expected way. It has to be almost impossible to comprehend the mountains we have climbed to get to this place, the hurdles Lochlan has had to jump over, the challenges he has had to overcome. Sometimes, I don't know how to process the emotions that come with each seemingly tiny victory; because those tiny victories are monumental to us and to him. In one reality - the reality of what is "normal", or "expected", or "projected" for the development of a young person - we are so far behind and tragically missing the mark. But in our reality, Lochlan is nothing short of a miracle and every baby step forward in progress is another marathon completed and won. 

I consider the days, weeks and years of agony he has suffered from intestinal abnormalities and ailments. I consider the months of fixations which end only in time to make way for a new incoming fixation. I consider the endless hours of screaming first for days, then weeks, months and for almost 3 years. He barely slept until he was 6 years old and then went for an 11 month sleep fast again this past year. Yet, through each of these seasons and challenges that he has endured, he has continued to make progress and we have been perpetually surprised by joy and wonder. The temptation to assume my perspective of someone is either accurate or complete has been completely obliterated through the process of parenting Lochlan. He is so much more - in every way. The hardships can be overwhelming, but the joy absolutely astonishes me. 

We are, none of us, built for the mountains we are asked to climb in this life. We are also not asked to climb them alone. And in the process of the impossible we are all changed, forever. 

Friday, July 07, 2023

There's nothing ordinary about it

This life. 

It's magical.
It's savage. 
It's extraordinarily beautiful. 
It's horrifying. 
It fills us with wonder.
It's heartbreaking.
It's surprising. 
It's disturbingly predictable.
It gives us more than we can imagine. 
It breaks us into pieces. 
It fills us with hope. 
It fill us with disappointment.
It gives us knowledge and understanding and wisdom.
It teaches us that we know nothing and can control even less.
It gives us mountains.
It drags us through the valleys. 
It teaches us that we are never truly alone. 
It leaves us utterly empty.
It shows us that we are so much more than we ever fathomed. 
It teaches us that we are finite and limited. 
It. Is. A. Gift.
It is not something we are owed.

 I will take this borrowed breath and I live fully these days I am given. 

The boys' maiden voyage on the boat their dad helped them build.

Kelton spotted a husky in the woods and we were able to help rescue him and return him to his owner who lives in upper state Utah. He had been missing for several weeks and was in rough shape. 

First born cone eating skills...

Second born cone eating skillzzzzz

I love this lady!

We have finished our mitigation efforts for this year... now we await the monsoons. 

Firewood cutting fun. 

First camping trip of the summer.

We can find beauty in the thistles.

7th annual backpacking trip. 

I spent an inordinate amount of time on this trip thinking, reflecting, processing the pain and reward(s) of this past year and trying to prepare for what I don't know is ahead. 

Cousin Gabe and the boys came to visit... a major highlight of this year. Love. Them. All. So. Much.

And back to the lake today. The boys now have two completed boats and are becoming quite the skilled lakemen. :-)