8 years

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Dearest Queen,

Eight years ago, our vows promised adventure, and oh the adventures we have had.

Some have changed over the years… The daily dance drama has been substituted with the poop story of the day – two kids and two fur babies, and all of them full of shenanigans, and that’s a lot of poop.

Some have not changed… Mammoth season passes – and all the fun and tranquility the mountain provides time after time after time, recharging our spirits and adding stories to our shared life.

Our home has been updated and upgraded while remaining the same reliable, comfortable bedrock for our family. That family has grown with the addition of kitties and children, in that order. We’ve had some misunderstandings. We’ve had some disappointments. We’ve had some amazing triumphs. We’ve had some perfect moments.

We’ve faced it all side by side. And we’ve made it through, together. We make a great team.

I am still sad every morning when I have to leave you to go to work. I am still thrilled when I see you next, no matter the circumstances. You make me feel safe. You make me feel whole. I don’t see that ever changing.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t imagine it any other way.

I know that regardless of what adventures come our way next, we will navigate them successfully. The good, we will fully enjoy. The bad, we will survive and come through with laughter. These are truths of who we are.

I love you,

Matt

3 months in the life

Dear LITTLER Prince,

(And, yes, that is an important distinction to make.)

You are 3 months old! Oh my goodness. When did that happen? And how? And all the other questions! Okay, okay, I know three months isn’t very long, but it is still all you’ve known. And, considering the first couple months of your life are often referred to as the fourth trimester, it is a quarter of your entire existence. That’s a big chunk of time.

You are progressing nicely away from bump on a log status. Your kung fu fighting is still going strong and you’ve started to kick yourself almost into a roll. You aren’t quite there yet, but one day soon you will get yourself rolled over from back to front. Then it will only be a matter of time before you are headed off to college. Hmm, maybe I’m jumping ahead a bit there, but sometimes that’s how it feels. I’m certainly not in a hurry for that. I’m loving every second of you right now.

The faces you make, including the almost smile, maybe that was a smile, did I just see a dimple, there! there! that was definitely a smile moments. The sounds you make, from the sweet coos to the happy screeches. Okay, the shrieking cries in my ear aren’t my favorite thing, but you don’t do those that often anyway. The drool… and I know that’s a weird thing to like, but I can’t help it. Your drooly little face is adorable. And, you’ve started shoving everything you can into your mouth. Well, you try to shove everything in. Somethings are too big and sometimes you miss. And that’s okay too, because you really shouldn’t be putting stuff in there in the first place. But, you will because that’s how you explore, and that’s okay too.

Then, beyond all of that, my current favorite part of your first three months has been how awestruck you are with your big brother. You hear his voice and look around until you find him and then you stare and stare and stare. It is sweet and adorable and, as a younger brother myself, it hopefully speaks to the good friendship you two will forge in the years ahead. I’m excited for you.

So, keep on keeping on. Learn all the things. Your mom and I, and big brother, will help you along as best we can. And, you’ve got a whole kingdom cheering you on, too. You’re doing great.

Love you,

Daddy / Matticus / The Jester

on being four 

Dear Little Prince,

How much longer will I be able to call you that?  Little…  It hardly seems to fit anymore.  You aren’t even in toddler size shoes anymore.  You don’t tie your own laces yet, but your shoes have laces too.  And that’s just talking about your feet.

Two eye appointments ago you read the chart using numbers, which was amazing in itself.  Then, at your last appointment you read the chart using letters.  Your mom and I were so very proud of you.  Not only did you know your letters but you were confident enough to suggest using them instead of the numbers.  You said, “I can do this,” and you did.

It’s been a year of moments like that.  You would decide it was time to take on a new responsibility or challenge and then you would do it.  The most recent of those was taking the training wheels off your bike.  They were slowing you down.  You weren’t even four yet.  The almost six year old two doors down still has training wheels on his bike.

In other words, you are exceptional.  That’s not surprising, given your parents.

You are stubborn and strong-willed, too, of course.  You are infuriating at times.  You know how to press my buttons and seem to take pleasure in doing so as well.  None of that is surprising either, again, given your parents.  Plus, your stubbornness and confidence will serve you well later.  There’s no challenge you will shy away from.  There is no obstacle that will stand in your way for long.  There is no limit to your potential.

I can tell all this about you already and you are still only four. 

What will the next year hold for you?  It’s a mystery I’m excited to watch you solve.

Love you,

Daddy / Matticus / The Jester

lacking

The lack of good sleep wears on
And my mind is drawn
And so I am waiting on
Hallucinations.

When will I lose all control
And pay the owed toll
And give up body and soul
For this crazy role?

Nights and days blur together
And untogether
And I have lost the tether
Against the weather.

Perhaps I won’t realize
And I’ll miss the spies
And I’ll be blind to the skies
That actualize?

Time will tell the truth of it
And see when I split
And how I rage and submit
While I throw my fit.

The lack of good sleep wears on
And my mind is gone
And my thoughts are now full on
Abominations.

all together in the end

The fog, heavy upon the land, stifled movement and choked what little light there was.  Even the moon, full and majestic, did little to break the grasp of the dense blanket of dew.  While the metal walls shielded me from the cold and damp, my bones still ached from them.  Everything but time was dulled and slow.  My joints throbbed in time to the seams of the road.

Thump-thump.  Thump-thump.  Thump-thump.

I scanned the darkness in search of lurking dangers.  The view from my cage on wheels was distorted through the layers of fog.  Other cars could have been inches away and they might have gone unnoticed.  Pedestrians and bikers would have been invisible completely.  I scanned the darkness and was plagued by doubt.  Was I in control or was that just an illusion of hope?  My heart beat furiously in my chest.

Thump-thump.  Thump-thump.  Thump-thump.

The sounds of the drive were all wrong.  The water heavy air absorbed all, robbing me of the clarity in all senses I might have had otherwise.  Not quite all, though, as the most sinister of pitches slipped through unblemished to plague my worries.  I adjusted the stereo to cover my fears and music blared through the speakers around me.  I joined my voice in song as the drumline rattled my cage.

Thump-thump.  Thump-thump.  Thump-thump.

They say that things are often darkest before the light, and in those moments well before sunrise with the night dimmed further by the thick fog, I dreamt of bursting free of my isolation as the sun peeked over the horizon.  I dreamt of driving into the fire while the dew burned away in splashes of golden red.  I dreamt of stepping clear of my cage to revel in the glory of another new day.  The fears gnawing on my thoughts fell away and the rhythm of my heart slowed to match the beat of the music.

Thump-thump.  Thump-thump.  Thump-thump.

My driving dreams did not come to fruition, of course, as the world often failed the expectations of my imagination, but the fog did dispel, relinquishing its grasp on my senses.  The full moon, directly overhead, exploded light onto the fields around me.  My aching bones ceased their complaints.  The sounds of the morning returned.  My sight returned as well.  It was early still and the day had plenty of time to bloom glorious.  The music, my heart, and the road came together in anticipation.

Thump-thump.  Thump-thump.  Thump-thump.