Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bubbles and Hearts and Spring Sun Against my Back

It rained last night. A hard, miserable rain that brought in a strong cold front, and SNOW, as ridiculous as that sounds. I've had a rough couple of days. I don't think the weather has made my mood, but it certainly hasn't helped it.

But last week. Last week was lovely. Last week we got to taste and see Springtime in New York.

It's been a hard Winter, what we experienced of it, and it's so nice to be validated by the locals that THIS IS NOT NORMAL and IT'S OKAY TO SAY THIS IS HARD. Because it is (was?) hard. Really hard.

At the same time, I've fallen in love with this place over the last ten weeks in the midst of that. I feel like it's sort of like when you fall in love with a person during a rough patch. You know you made it through that and you can make it through anything. Or when you love a child through a terribly trying season. What bliss it is when they round the corner and you have the framework of such unconditional love as your foundation.

I made it through those dreary months and while it was hard, there was so much good. There was weeping in the Winter, there were bouts of homesickness, but it was overwhelmingly good. All that makes me really, really excited for what Spring and Summer hold.

Anyway, back to last week.

Minnie had sent yet another care package which basically consisted of her pilfering the dollar bins at Target, I'm pretty sure. One evening I needed to do laundry. We had already been to the park, but I wanted to get the kids back outside again to enjoy the beautiful weather. So in between cycles we went outside and I busted out one of Minnie's surprises- little plastic eggs filled with bubbles. They were quite a hit.

Annie picked her own outfit. She was literally wearing three different colors of pink, red heart leggings that I bought for four dollars with another pair, and her red Chucks. A million years ago, I wrote about actually being able to handle red and pink together, but only because it was on her precious tiny self. Five years later and I kinda love it a lot, especially with her wild hair that looks like I hadn't brushed it (I had). (Apparently, that post was written at the point where I was also explaining that I loved to call her "Annie"- she was less than a month old).

Then this guy, with his perpetual bruises. His little legs today looked awful. I need to count the bruises. And I have NO IDEA about any of them. I do know where he got the massive knee scrape, though. That same concrete courtyard that's pictured. I have a feeling it'll be the bearer of a lot of bruises and scraps this Summer. He's so rough and so tender all at the same time and it's my favorite. I can't imagine him any other way, and truthfully, I wouldn't want to.

Still for just a moment, wrapped up in their bubbles and the beauty of the world around them.

And then so fully a part of it. Annie on her tiptoes reaching for the bubble. I love watching her grab and stretch for new things. I'm seeing it in so many areas with her, but especially with learning to read and write, and few things make my own soul come alive more.

And then they're still again. I said it about something about it the other day, but it's nice to watch him be mesmerized by things. To know that it's possible for something to hold his attention. He's much more easily excited about things than his sister, but much less easily captivated. I love when I get to see him captivated, just as I love seeing her excited.

He's still such a baby, in many ways and I'm glad. I've been saying that for years, though. Annie's always more grown up at any age because he's the baby. They had a fight the morn of his third birthday because she wanted to call him "Big Boy Graves" and he insisted upon "Baby Graves". I told her that he'll always be our baby. And he will, even if/when there's another baby. He'll always be our Baby Graves- mine, Peyton's, and in some ways hers.

She's so serious, so often. It's often a good serious, though. The intensity of her eyes is just a glimpse of the intensity of her soul.

Occasionally, he's somber, too. Still and quite and like he's really thinking hard about something. It's harder to know with him. But as he talks more and more, we're learning more and more about him. And falling more and more in love with him.

Sometimes, these days when Peyton works and it's just me and them are hard. The hardest part, I think, is not having the outside interaction with other (grown up!) people I had at home. But these little people. I'm learning more and more about their hearts and souls and dreams and desires and fears and hurts and struggles and triumphs.

Brooklyn in the Winter was a marvelous place to learn them better. I'm confident Brooklyn in the Spring will bring forth even more enchanted things with my beautiful people.

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