“Earth’s crammed with heaven. And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees takes off his shoes. The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” -Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Tonight I sit, the silence of the humid air around me is punctuated by the occasional song of a cricket. The early morning stillness hangs heavy in the unmoving air.  I’ve retreated to our front stoop with my laptop, probably not the safest place to be with a lurking thunderhead swirling above, yet I retreat here to reflect… to meditate. The yard in front of me is dark and quiet, a stark contrast to the peals of laughter and the glow of late afternoon that only days before, brought me here, watching my children play. It was here we sat, with Colette in my lap, as we watched Shepherd run to the Oak tree and back, his joyous laughter bouncing off the mellow light that kissed our faces. It was here that I was beckoned by Shepherd to “come play” and could not refuse such an appeal. From here, I stood up, Colette in my arms, and gleefully ran through the grass, galloping, as only Colette finds exceedingly hilarious. The sound of her laughs enveloped my heart and drew the child in me to a place where I’d long forgotten. It drew me to my knees, and we knelt in the grass beside the clover. Shepherd ran up to us, and thrust his fist full of grass, weeds, and a few clover blooms into my face and proclaimed, “Flowers! Mommy!!!” I thanked him for the gift, for only Queens deserve such royal and lavish things. Each fistful brought new blooms, which I added to the growing links of clover in my hand. The child in me danced and laughed as I imagined the crown of clover complete and resting upon the heads of my darling children. With the first crown complete, we crowned Princess Colette. Shepherd and I laughed and admired her beautiful jewels. Shepherd, upon realization that he lacked a crown, demanded a coronation ceremony for himself. As I completed his crown, and placed it upon his royal brow, he beamed at me, and announced, “Crown for Mommy!” Soon enough, we all had crowns, and we sat in the shade of the Oak tree, reveling in the glow of the afternoon, the dust and pollen dancing in the light as if pixies or tiny fairies celebrating the royal gathering. “Dance!” Shepherd belted as he threw his arms in the air and wiggled his entire body with unrepentant jubilee. Colette squeeled with delight as she brought her hands together and clapped at the air. Yet I remained silent and still… frozen in place, absorbing every detail of the unfolding celebration around me. “Dance, Mommy!” he beckoned again. A smile slowly spread across my face… “I am” I replied, sitting quietly beside the two of them, whose reckless girations and uncordinated waves drew attention to my stillness.  “I am…”

She smiles as he jabbers away, linking new phrases together, learning new words, and mimicking everything he hears. Her son is learning, faster than she can believe, and for a moment, her heart longs for the little baby he was. Her longings are interrupted by three beautiful words… strung together completely unprompted, and her heart leaps for joy, knowing she is happy to be in the now…she hears him softly say

“Love you, mommy”

Today, at lunch, sitting at our table, I asked Shepherd what kind of sandwich he wanted.

“Penis Butter Sandmich”

Slightly amused, I chuckled inwardly, while correcting his mistake.

“Pea-NUT Butter Sandwich.  That’s Right!”

He smiled, and began demanding “Penis Butter” over and over and over again.

No matter how many times we go through this, my child cannot say his T’s.  I firmly believe he’s slowly erroding away at my sanity to achieve world domination. Either that, or I’m doomed to public humiliation when confronted with words like Truck, Peanut, and so on and so on.

My life is SO glamorous.

Deepest Hazel eyes.
My soul can not hide the pain.
Darkness overcomes.

My Walls around, lies.
They paint my story picture
And ensnare the weak.

A bird perched alone
A bitter song I sing out
For freedom I long

This prison of self
The tortured soul wants justice
Yet daily I die

My deepest yearning
The unfulfilled dream of youth
My creator knew

To live as a song
Flowing freely up and down
Always moving you

Truth is hard to be
When oppression holds you back
The melody dies

Awake young pilgrim
Arise and take heart, alas!
Your savior cometh

He’s the truth you need
Your burden He’ll gladly bear
Just rest in His arms

No, nothing you need
He loves you as you are now
A beautiful song

Last night, Colette pulled up from sitting to standing, all by herself.  I turned around, and to my amazement, there she stood, holding on to the side of the playpen. In my shock, I asked Forrest if he’d helped her, “Help her what?” he said, and I pointed to Colette, standing and grinning.  We both nearly fell apart with laughter and joy as we watched her bounce up and down, so proud of herself.

There are days where having two so close is a nightmare… and other days, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. This morning, so far, it’s the later, thankfully.  :)


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