Ten.

Wedding - TOS walking away

Ten years ago we stood on the side of a mountain, in front of our friends and family, and promised adventure.  Yes, we promised to love and honor and cherish and all that too.  But mostly we promised adventure.  I believe we have kept that promise to each other.  They  haven’t always been glamorous.  They haven’t always been perfect.  But, there have been adventures aplenty and we have survived them, enjoyed them, struggled through them, planned them, been pulled into them, won hard-fought victories over them, and all side by side.  I wouldn’t want anyone else standing by me.

Ten years ago we stood on the side of a mountain, a mountain we have continued to go back to and enjoy, and little did we know what our lives would look like.  We could have guessed.  We probably would have gotten pretty close but we wouldn’t have known all the little things have that made each day an adventure of its own.  Job changes.  Cats.  Home projects.  Children.  Some of those have been easier than others.  All of them were great because we went through them together.

Ten years ago we stood on the side of a mountain, a mountain covered in snow, having already fallen in love with it and each other and we vowed to face all of our future adventures as one.  One force.  One team.  It was a brilliant day, blue skies from horizon to horizon and the warm spring sun made everything shine, and pretty much every day since has been brilliant as well.  We adventure together.  We shine together.  We are brilliant together.

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On being six

Dear Little Prince,

Though you aren’t so little anymore, are you?  With six years behind you.  With most of Kindergarten behind you.  With all of the adventures you’ve had in the last year.  Piano lessons.  Archery lessons.  Snowboarding in Mammoth.  Snowboarding in Colorado.  Growing into the role of big brother, champion of and for the Littler Prince.  I don’t have the right words to tell you how proud I am of you, but that won’t stop me from trying.

I catch glimpses of the person you are becoming and have no doubt that you will change the world.  You are fiercely passionate and, while that can get you in trouble from time to time, that drive will see you take control of your environment and shape it into what it should be.  You are a leader and will have the charisma to inspire.  You still ask thousands of questions a day, and that curiosity about the world, that drive to understand, will also work for you.  It already is as you grasp new concepts and better yourself, gain knowledge.  You happily tackle new projects.  You want to over-achieve not because you want to be better than anyone else but because you genuinely are interested in things beyond what society has deemed appropriate for your age.  Your passion and your inquisitiveness will help you succeed in whatever you choose to with your life.

You love your brother and want to see him succeed as well.  That too can get you in trouble when you try to be a parent to him but the two of you will figure that out over the coming years and will be friends for life.  That friendship will be more valuable than you know.  You are putting in the hard work now to build that relationship when he is too young to understand more than it is fun to drive you crazy.  Stick with it and he will support you in everything you ever do.  As a younger brother myself, I know this to be true.

We have our rough moments, of course.  You still have so much to learn about being a part of this family and being a part of this world.  Every single day, though, you surprise me with how much you’ve already learned and sometimes that makes me forget how much you still need to learn.  I do my best to be patient and to give you the space and time you need to figure things out and I’m sorry that I sometimes fail you.  We’ll get there eventually.  We’ll figure this thing out together.  I have no doubts about that.  We are both too stubborn not to.

So, I’ll continue doing everything I can to help you become the best person you can be and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year brings for you.  New adventures.  New knowledge.  New wisdom.  I think your sixth year will be even more amazing than your fifth.

Love you,

Dad/Matticus/The Jester

pot of gold

dav

The colors burst across the sky in a banded arcing spectrum.  The warmth of the sun on their backs as they marveled at the bow was an odd sensation considering the icy drops of rain that still fell.  The puddles at their feet churned and their hair was soon drenched.  They stood in silence, mesmerized by the beauty and strangeness of the moment.  Then the storm shifted again and the rainbow faded away, taking its promise of gold with it.

The day held many such magical moments as the sun slipped in and out of view and the rain fell in starts and stops.  They never seemed to tire of it, though.  It didn’t become routine or mundane.  Each new spark of beauty was a reason to stop and revel.  Perhaps that was down to their youthful naivety?  Or, perhaps, that was the full power of nature on display?  The truth may never be known and doesn’t really matter anyway.  They didn’t need to know why the day was magical to appreciate it.

rain

The rain cleared and the horizon stretched to where the mountains met the heavens, clean and clear and glorious.

There isn’t much I don’t like about good storm.  And, I would be hard pressed to give you the same answer every time to what my favorite part is, because that certainly changes based on time of day, my mood, how long it has been between storms, what day of the week it is, …  and on and on.

But, there is certainly something magical about letting my eyes cast towards the far off lands and feel like it is so close I could touch it.  It’s right there.  If I could just get my fingertips to push that much further outward…  If I could just keep walking, just keeping running, just keep driving…  If…

Well, that’s just it, isn’t it?  A storm, to me, opens up the infinite possibilities of that magical “if.”  The power behind it.  The way it sweeps the world clean.  The sense of rejuvenation of purpose and spirit.  The basic essence of life.  They combine into this one thing, a drop of rain, that can mean so much more, that can mean everything, if only we have the imagination to dream…

And then he was two, too

My Dearest Littler Prince,

How are you two already?  Where has the time gone?  And why is that we constantly find ourselves asking unanswerable questions about the passage of time?  For, surely, while these days have been lived, and lived well, there is no accounting for where they have gone…

You have come into your role as little brother in these past few months.  You know how to get under your brother’s skin and you often do so just to watch his reaction.  You laugh at his antics and egg him on, much as he does to you.  You hold your own, that’s for sure.  You adore him, too, of course.  You immolate the way you see him playing.  You parrot words back to him.  You ask for him first thing in the morning and then follow him around.

There has been a word explosion recently.  Counting.  Colors.  Names.  Your pronunciation of things still has a ways to go but you have no qualms about calling things out and asking for what you want and need, even as the Queen and I struggle to decipher the toddler code.

Oh, toddlerhood.  The triumphant return of the toddlerocracy under the rule of a new tyrannical toddler…  This is also a role you are quickly adapting to.  Demands and tantrums and making sure your whims or at least heard if not always catered to.  You had a good teacher in this, of course.  The Little Prince ruled the toddlerocracy well.  You, having taken over the prime position, will also do well.  Perhaps it is wishful thinking on our part, the Queen and myself, the Jester, to hope that your rule is shorter than your brothers…

I am excited to see you grow.  I am excited to watch you learn.  I am excited to see what the future has in hold for you, you bruiser, you jumper and climber, you explorer of all the things.

We used to say (and still do) that your brother doesn’t have a quiet bone in his body.  So far it seems that you don’t have a gentle bone in yours.  Not that you are mean and certainly not that you intend to be destructive.  You just are.  You are strong and boisterous and have no clear definition of personal space and that leads to bruises, mostly on the people around you.  You don’t need a splash zone so much as a bump zone.

You’ll get there.  You’ll get the hang of this life thing.  I have no doubt about that.  You are thriving and it is a joy to be along for the ride.

Love you,

Matticus, The Jester, Daddy