Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Doubled by wonder

~ The other evening Timothy sat at the dining room table working on homework when suddenly, without lifting his pencil or halting his work, he proceeded to belt out a line from what I can only assume is some sort of song. Loudly.

I'm not sure if this is a song you might hear on the radio if you are hipper than I am, or if it came out of that secret stash of musical genius that Timothy hides so well. All I know is that just as I was about to inquire as to whether it was completely necessary for him to sing at a volume that could only be meant for the neighbors down the street, I heard the next line of the "song" being bellowed from upstairs in the direction of Jack's bedroom.

They went back and forth like this, yelling singing alternate lines of a song that I still suspect may only exist in their brotherly sub-universe until it apparently reached its conclusion and Timothy went back to solving geometry problems and presumably Jack returned to his state of active non-studying.

All was quiet.

~ Recently, we have had more than one occasion when all three of our kids have been occupied elsewhere at the same time. This remarkable convergence of events has meant that Ben and I have been alone in our own house...together. It's utterly shocking. Truly, we become frozen by the improbability of it all and generally spend the entire time babbling to one another about how strange it feels to be in our own house with no children. I'm hoping that by the time we are actually empty-nesters we will be able to get past the inane babbling stage and settle into a slightly more productive lifestyle.

But one of the things that always comes out in our incoherent meandering thoughts is the reality that were it not for our little Annie, we would likely find ourselves with quite a lot of this Home Alone in reverse scenario. With two teenage boys, their schedules frequently take them out of the house for extended periods of time-particularly on weekends. Nowadays, it's incredibly common for Friday and Saturday nights to be Annie-Mom-and-Dad time while the boys are at football games or friend's houses. It doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that if you subtracted the smallest of those individuals you would end up with just the two of us.

It's exciting and surprising and disorienting when we find ourselves with time alone at home, and I know there will come a day when we will be ready for more and more of that time..but not yet. Right now, we always end up looking at each other, smiling, and thanking God we aren't there yet.

Because what would we be without that little sprite that dances through our days and fills our lives with puppies and pink?

Really, what would we be?

~ In spite of all my best laid plans we aren't making a lot of progress on our Countdown goals. The biggest area of contention is in the arena of Kitchen Duties. Clearing dishes, getting them in the dishwasher, emptying the dishwasher, helping to plan/prepare meals...all getting woefully forgotten in the hustle and bustle of days filled with soccer, gymnastics and college application essays. I'm definitely guilty of succumbing to the "it's just easier to do it myself" school of thought.

It's also easy to become grumpy, resentful, sulky...

Then Jack beckons me from the computer saying, Mom, you gotta see this...

And I bite my tongue from snapping something along the lines of, Sure, let me just stop washing all the dishes, preparing dinner and doing ALL OF THE OTHER WORK AROUND HERE...

I look over his shoulder at the computer, noticing his twinkling eyes and wide open smile and can't help but wonder what has got him reverting back to the giggly boy he once was.

He shows me a Youtube video- a comedy sketch. Certainly not appropriate for Annie but safe enough for a boy on the verge of turning 18 (nor am I so naive as to think he hasn't seen worse). I'm a little surprised but also amused and pleased that he thinks he and I can share this.

And the truth is, it's funny. Like, laugh out loud funny.

And we do...laugh out loud. Together. And it's amazing because he's like this borderline adult who gets that his parents have a sense of humor and that we might even sometimes have the same sense of humor.


~ Remember the age old paradox, What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

I used to wonder if Timothy was the human embodiment of that paradox except he was both the immovable object and the unstoppable force and we were the ones trying to get him to bend.

He is still virtually unstoppable and frequently stubbornly immovable, but it is a force that is increasingly being used for good. Watching Timothy grow up, my sister would often comment, When Timothy decides to use his powers for good, there is nothing that can stop him.

In school, in life, on the soccer field, with his family...everyday in hundreds of little ways, Timothy is using his powers for good.

Nothing can stop him.

~ Annie and Jack reside across the hall from one another. Each night as I put her to bed, I perch on the end of her bed listening to her work through her day trying to keep her from spiraling too far into worry or dismay over events that are over and done, or haven't even ever happened. By the time I have started telling her no more talking and close your eyes, Jack will usually appear in the hallway having made his way upstairs to retire to his own room.

He stands silhouetted in the doorway with the light of his own bedroom behind him.

They say their goodnights, with the private names they reserve only for each other.

Night night, Gonky.

Night night, Jackie.

Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~GK Chesterton

Happy Thanksgiving one and all.

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