The vulnerability of motherhood begins before we even know we're pregnant. Then, throughout the pregnancy we are left to wonder - all the things. Living as a mother feels like taking out your heart and holding it out into the wide, broken world without protection and leaving it utterly vulnerable. The considerations that are most likely to keep me up in the wee-morning-worry-hours are always about my boys - these creatures I helped usher into the world. How shall I keep them alive? How to keep them healthy? How to train up their hearts in the way that they should go? How to protect them from the things that this world will throw against them? How to help them understand and be capable of love? How to help them navigate the impossible? How to guide them to be strong and courageous and simultaneously humble and kind? How to teach them to not bite each other, not eat their boogers, not pee all over the toilet seat, not be too loud, not be too rambunctious, not be dinosaurs in all the ways...
Madigan made a trebuchet out of popsicle sticks and successfully launches dog food from it, much to the delight of the canines in our midst. His mind is constantly in the works, creating, improvising, improving upon and imagining projects. And his projects are without exception, remarkable. He has a lot weighing upon his heart and it is sometimes hard to know how to help him navigate it all.
Kelton woke up and came to chat with me in bed. He said, "Mom, I think I have a crush on you." Well, that won't last, but it's precious. We've been listening to books before bed every night and he makes us tea, grabs a blanket and snuggles close, leaning his head against my shoulder in utter contentment. I treasure these things in my heart.
Lochlan has been a blur of energy, whooshing about the house in his fluffy cape, often at a full canter, smile upon his face. His screaming has been replaced with laughter for the past several days, which translates into a lot of laughing all night long. Though the relentless wakefulness is slightly agonizing, the laughter is musical in it's way. Tears replaced by joy are a welcome feature. Praying for answers, always and forever.
Declan is practicing his littlest brother's patience with adept accuracy. However, it's beautiful to see their friendship blossom as it has these past several months. They (MOSTLY) set aside their ability to be the thorn in each other's side, very much due to Declan's leadership on that account. They seem to work consciously to build up one another and encourage each other. Declan is wise and discerning in so many ways and his ability to see into the hearts of others is humbling.
We're off to explore again this gloomy, winter afternoon. I am thankful I have been given this day, with all that is vulnerable in it, with all that hurts, with all that has been abundantly beautiful and filled with joy. We are going to go see my tree as it silently escorts in another storm. Over the past couple of months, I put together an art project in honor of my tree and my hill to sit in our living room. On the days when we are not able to wander, we can look upon it and be thankful for the excess of what we have been given. :-)