Meet the Boys!

“A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.” Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte, 1984. 

One of my most salient roles is that of Mother. I’ve had children for half my life now even though I’m only in my thirties. For you English majors out there I had my oldest son when I was 17, and thus began the only consistent part of my life since then: raising boys.

Sending my "baby" off to Homecoming! 
Koa, 16 Born to me when I was still a child, my oldest son and I have pretty much grown up together. Just as every eldest child in every family, his life has been galvanized by the ineptitude of my first-timer fuckups; however, he is remarkably well-adjusted, exceptionally empathetic, and a borderline genius according to the test scores despite my (many) missteps. Every sunset draws us closer to his life outside the safety of my nest, a day he and I will celebrate and mourn when it comes, yet I remain optimistic that the separation will be buffered by his compassionate sense of loyalty and my late blooming efficacy as his mother. If I am lucky I will still find him hanging around, washing laundry, raiding the pantry, and sitting at my table for many moons to come. In the meantime I relish in seeing him interact with his younger brothers, feeding him lots of home-cooked food, and listening to his ideas about the world as they shift and evolve.

A quiet moment of reflection on top of the world.
Cedar, 11 Easily the most like me of all of my boys, Cedar is wise beyond his years and feels everything in stereo. He is often an equalizer in our family, though his affect is all that is required to light up or shut down any party. He is quick-witted, intuitive, forgiving, and attentive to detail in superhuman ways. He will enjoy a lucrative future in sales, creative advertising, business management or any number of awesome opportunities if he uses his power for good; grifting, strong-arming, or transnational criminal activity if he uses his power for evil. The kid is clever, super charming, and totally heading full throttle into the teenage years. His future remains to be told, but I look forward to celebrating the adoption of his first teenage son down the line—a plan Cedar has talked about enacting since he was five. If there was ever a kid with a softer heart I wouldn’t know.

SUPER hero!
 Birch, 3 Birch started as an idea over artisan beer with my husband and quickly became a redheaded second wave of sleeplessness, diapers, developmental milestones, and parenting faux pas in our lives. Currently enjoying his place as the oldest of the little ones, every day is a Saturday for this guy. Conducting experiments, exploring his world, and looking for Yes as often as possible are among his favorite activities. His biggest challenges right now are an extreme aversion to meat of any kind, the cutting of his younger brother’s teeth and the maniacal laughter that follows his bites, and big emotions that are every bit as heated, beautiful, and attention-grabbing as a metro firework show on the dawn of a New Year. His expressive vocabulary and the depth of his self-awareness are among his strong suits, creating ever-entertaining dialogue and the need for frequent reminders that he is still just three—a tiny person trying stuff on—even with some of those words coming out.

This is a gift I get every day.
Aspen, 1 My youngest son filled my heart, my vehicle and my dining room table to max capacity so he will forever be the baby of the family. As gleeful and adorable as he is with his wild dark curls and impish dimpled smile, I’d be playing impossible odds if I continued the game of temperament roulette. It just doesn’t get better. As of late he enjoys basking in the attention of his adoring brothers, waving to friends and questionable strangers alike, and eating cereal snacks out of his shoes. In his first year he has undergone numerous evaluations and physical therapies, watched a regrettable amount of Sponge Bob Squarepants, taught us about unfiltered joy, and demonstrated a clear and remarkable love for books. He was born at home in the most triumphant and nonchalant of births, a peaceful and powerful experience… that I quickly followed with a Number 1 Big Mac Meal courtesy of my Doula as Aspen lay next to me on the bed and my husband drained the birth tub into the front yard. This sort of duality will mark his life forever, lucky little guy.

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