I want to remember this moment. Baby boy, standing naked, belly-up to the bathtub, watching the water intently as his bath is drawn. Content, finally, at the end of a trying day.
Did all my babies have that little underbite when there were only six teeth? I know they all had the round, overhanging belly, taut after a dinner eaten with clutching fists. And that cornsilk hair that will grow long and awkward before I can bring myself to cut it.
The baby chirps, a happy tree frog, and I remember his brother, chirping with joy after eating dirt in our little suburban yard four years ago. And then his bigger brother yells up the stairs, "Mama!" with his little-boy voice. They have been gathering chestnuts (or chinquapins, Henry isn't sure) in the gloaming and will need a bigger bowl to display them on the nature table. The nuts are shiny brown and just the right size and smoothness to tuck into a pocket to turn and hold and stroke with the pad of your thumb when you are unsure during the first week of first grade.
Oh, but this has been a long day, and a long week. But such a short almost-seven years, and four-almost-five-years, and almost-ten-months. (So they all say.)
Our "morning words", our memory work, right now is Christina Rossetti's "Who Has Seen the Wind?". We are in that full, fleeting stage of a family's life where all our spirits whirl around this house together, both noiseless-ly and with a lot of noise, and we rustle each other's leaves, and I try to water their roots, and I only take a deep breath at the end of the day when it is fully dark and I can hear the dog running in his sleep. I want to remember what this feels like, to be right in the middle, watching the leaves blow in the suddenly cool, autumn breeze.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
G, over breakfast: Mama? Maybe you can be the girl I'm going to marry. Then it could be you and me forever and ever. All. Alone.
H: Hey! Mama's already married! You can't change the people you're married to.
L: That's right, Mama is married to Papa, but you may find someone special to marry when you get older. And you can stay with us as long as you want. We have lots of good years left before you grow up. And I'll always love you.
G: And we can play games!
. . .
Our favorite family game right now is HedBanz. So nice for pre-readers. And hilarious:
L: Now, G, don't tell Henry what's on his headband. He's trying to guess.
(Two minutes later. The excitement builds.)
H: Am I a food?
H: Am I an apple? A pear? A banana?
B&L: No, no, no.
G: YOU'RE A CHEESE! A CHEESE! A CHEESE! (Huge, triumphant smile and maniacal laughter. Repeat, on almost every turn.)
Same idea, but way more wonderful fun than a drunken college game of Indian.
New "foft" pants for G. Elizabeth Zimmerman February baby pants made entirely from scraps. There is something supremely satisfying about using scraps. Also satisfying when the boy loves something that I made so very much. He told everyone we met yesterday, "Mama made these!" Ravelry notes.
On a hike at the Rye Marshlands Conservancy, with the Jay House in the background. (Probably need to choose a less wide-open lens on these bright snowy days, but I kind of like the feel and colors anyway!)
Saturday was a mud pie kind of day. I'm so thankful that my kids love to play outside. This series of photos reminds me of that Amish proverb: "Put the swing where the children want it. The grass will grow back." At the rate these boys are growing, that grass will grow back all too soon. Feeling happy these days. Settling in to winter days.