“Do spiders eat gingerbread?” J wanted to know the other day. He said he was thinking about that because of a song from camp. Yes, this is the first year he is now old enough to be at a “summer camp.” It’s located at a regional park nearby where he spends his day among kids and nice counselors and the trees, making forts and doing science projects. He comes home covered in dirt and smiling with that little gap where he’s missing his two front baby teeth. The campers go swimming once a week and this involves the highly complicated task of bringing his swim stuff, changing into them, and then changing back into his dry clothes afterwards. He often talks about a friend he made at camp and how they swap funny scenes they remember from Inspector Gadget. He sometimes breaks out into a special dance where he gleefully swings his little arms by his hips. He is so big now but also still so little, which makes me feel a strange sensation, like salty tears are falling somewhere in a small, lonely spot—but also slivers of strength and meaning connecting me to a vast, beautiful ocean.
Meanwhile, little brother, C, is determined to get his shirt on without mom’s help and says, “I do it! Self!” He sings The Wheels on the Bus, rides a scooter, and when he doesn’t approve of a new food, he says definitively, “I don’t like it!” He loves his blanky, which he often wraps around himself like a bathrobe and drags it around the floor behind him. At dinner time, he insists that Blanky has a spot at the table, next to his plate. He started preschool where he glues macaroni to the letter “Y” and has a teacher who smiles warmly and seems to genuinely enjoy him. He says, “Hold you!” when he wants to be held. I love bundling him up in Blanky and kissing his soft, sweet hair. He likes to be tickled and wrestle with daddy. His laughter makes a sound that radiates light and seems to oxygenate the fibers of my body. I feel like I just birthed him, yet at the same time, each day has added to a sensation of him being him in this world, separate from me, clearing his own path away and towards where he needs to be in this mysterious universe.
Another part of this update is that we moved. We are thrilled about our new location as we are now much closer to family and old friends and it makes sense for my husband’s job and mine too. But even the happiest of moves still must involve some form of craziness, right? And so, of course, the other day I went accidentally plunging my car the wrong way over a line of tire spikes. Let yourself really imagine that one for a second. Because, who actually does that? Thankfully, it did not turn out too bad. I realized my idiotness as I was doing it, made a cool swerve move and only managed to gouge one tire completely flat. But still. There was definitely a moment when I thought all was ruined.
Thankfully, the same week, a dear friend brought me to a workshop for shamanic healing breathwork, which I never knew existed. My favorite part was when we all closed our eyes and danced on our yoga mats to this wild drumming music. I felt so free and uninhibited and only slightly embarrassed when I opened my eyes and realized I had somehow, in my enthusiastic and awkward dancing, turned a full 180 degrees and had been unknowingly facing the folks behind me! Good God! Oh well, I laughed at myself and turned back around and got back to dancing and even cried a little bit, in a good way, at the very end. I would recommend this for everyone.
Lastly, this month my husband and I are celebrating twelve years of marriage. We got engaged in our early twenties, three months after we met, so neither of us really knew what we were in for. But, somehow we did understand something that maybe cannot be explained in words or made logical but pulls two souls together in a combination that just feels right, like they were always there. So, our anniversary feels special but also not, because I feel like togetherness is something that cannot be measured or counted in any reasonable way. For example, the other morning something happened that has never occurred in the more than four-thousand mornings we have shared together. That day, upon waking, we happened to be facing each other in the bed, heads perfectly aligned, our noses nearly touching, when our eyelids snapped open at the exact same moment. Therefore, the very first thing I saw, upon journeying from dreamland and into this concrete world, was his deep brown eyes waking up from wherever he was, straight into mine. It was the best thing ever, and I would take that moment over one million anniversary dinners.
So we will celebrate, but nothing big. I will keep shamanic breathing and dancing. I’ll try to drive a little better. Togetherness with my husband will continue to unfold with surprises. My kids will keep growing faster than I could ever imagine, the speed of life both terrifying and thrilling. I will hold on to the handrails when I need steadiness. But I will also let go, once in a while, and feel the rush and risk with my hands in the air, letting myself feel empowered and brave, facing fears, my body able to brace those wild turns, feeling all the energy of that painful but beautiful earth below that keeps on living.