Sunday, September 2, 2012
Three + One
The first, phantom peach fuzz lipped, too tall now, cocky and self-absorbed, yet somehow still vulnerable, searching for a place, staking out opinions, trying on tastes, eager for independence—unless, of course, that were to mean doing his own dishes, or laundry—morning grumpy, easily elated, quick bright smile, not too old for a kiss on the forehead, in passing, even if he must duck his head to receive it, but, still, for all of that, a wonder of existence: mine.
The second, cherubic cheeks backlit by charming smile, industrious, finicky, miniature Monk, obsessed with closing cabinet doors but not with picking toys off floors, ever in search of the next scam, anxious to prove the lesson is learned even when unable to remember what specific lesson it may be, quick wih a hug but disdainful of kisses, water obsessed—no need to ask how the pool is: it’s perfect, it’s always perfect—not too old to snuggle up in a lap of an evening, but, still, for all of that, a miracle of survival: mine.
The third, protuberant ears unfortunately inherited, determined, confident, ever smiling with broad joy—capable of smiling with every part of her face, even her tongue—ready to experience new things, affectionate, fraternally appreciative, capable of transforming tresses into reins, surprisingly communicative, delicate, drooling, penetrating eyes, not to young to reach, to clasp arm around neck, even in sleep, but, still, for all of that, a marvel of determination: mine.
The three, giggling, squabbling, full of love and idolization and frustration and tenderness for each other, united front to the world, willing to sell each other out, ready to protect each other to the death, rowdy, cautious, roiling mass of unbounded enthusiasm, eager to teach, anxious to learn, an object lesson on the importance of life, an unlikely confluence of genes and circumstance and adorable body parts, too stubborn for their own good, but, still, for all of that, a melody of delight: ours.
For I have nothing without you: small bits embedded in them, a nose, a curve, a temper’s flare, a sneaky smile, time, patience, tears, dogged persistence in the face of overwhelming resistance, a kind word, a firm hand, steady, sacrifice—body and years and income and opportunity and more—being there, educating, guiding, shaping, not too tired to plan all the outings, not too serious to tolerate all the foolishness, not too impatient to give all the requisite embraces, but, still, for all of that, a phenomenon of unlikelihood, more than deserved, never less than desired, exactly as much as demanded: thanks.
Dedicated to The Mother, who is celebrating another birthday and perhaps not feeling as appreciated as she fully deserves to be.