Friday, September 20, 2013

letters to our sons | September 2013

I have great intentions, but without deadlines most of those don’t come to fruition. One of the main reasons I created a blog was to capture this time when my sons are young. So I’m excited to join a group of friends, moms, and fellow photographers as we share about the boys in our lives on the third Friday of each month. We will be writing a letter to our sons each month. You can follow our blog circle to Chantell Sim next, and continue all the way back here. ________________________________________________________________________________________________

my boys at the wedding

Dear Aidan, Sean, and Nolan,

I like the idea of starting this series with one letter to all three of you. I so want to carve out time for each of you separately, and in future letters, plan to focus on one of you each month. Still, many of my favorite moments are when we are all together and you three are “my boys.”

We’ve reached a sweet spot that for years I joked about---it seemed SO far away---that golden age when all of my children would be able to buckle their own car seat (or seat belt in Aidan’s case). I know every stage is fleeting, and, as each one arrives, I always have the same reaction: this is my favorite stage ever and I hope it never ends.

I remember writing your Aunties Angie and Mary Alice during Aidan’s first year that I feared I’d reach my peak in life too soon and would always be wanting to relive that year.  I really did relish your baby and toddler years. 

At the same time, I gotta admit, this stage is pretty sweet.

web2013 08 15_3 brothers on the 1st day of school

For this one year of your childhood, all three of you are at the same school. I love that each of you recognize that fact and are making the most of it. How much easier it is to let my baby ride the school bus, knowing his big brothers are by his side. And how fun to listen, when he arrives home an hour earlier than you two, to his stories of having spotted you in the hallways or on the playground.

There are so many things I love about this specific season of our life together---the way all three of you love playing with LEGOs, the way you crack each other up, the way Aidan will be sure to grab a granola bar for Sean when he takes one for himself, or the way you often return from a party and share your new bounty of sugar with each other. I love the way the three of you negotiate music (Nolie says, “ENOUGH MICHAEL FRANTI” and Aidan says, “Never enough!”). The way you wake up together on the weekends and feed Duke and play quietly in hopes that you’ll get to watch more cartoons if you let your dad and me sleep longer (you’re smart boys!). The way you encourage each other---whether it be Nolan’s first sentence in writing last week (you wrote: I see Nolan), or Sean finishing a long book, or Aidan’s 50th comic strip drawing---each of you know you have a built-in audience who will praise and love your work.

web2013 08 12_3765

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns. There are accusations (“who ate the last lime popsicle?”) and threats (“never touch my Gandolf LEGO again”), epic Wii battles, and the never-ending debate over who really is Duke’s favorite (I hate to break it to you boys, but his fav is the one girl in the family). Every family has their struggles, and we have plenty, but I’m grateful that sibling fighting really isn’t one of ours. You are each so different and so compatible at the same time.

web2013 08 02_2777

One of the best parts of this stage is that we can do more. We did a lot in the past, but every thing is so much easier now. In the past few weeks you’ve hiked at Arches National Park, river rafted on the Colorado, taken Duke with us through Granstaff Canyon. Nothing new---you’ve been on the river before, been to those sights before, but while I still see danger around every corner, I’m not quite as worried now. And Nolie hiked all the way to Morning Glory bridge AND back on his own two feet. It had to be the first time your dad has finished that hike without a child on his back!

web2013 08 21_brothers heading into HMK

I’m in no hurry to move to the next stage, whatever that might be. Many mornings I tease you that this is my Christmas (a concept that has stayed with me from this interview with Karey Macin). I can’t imagine a time when I go to sleep without all three of you under my roof, though I know that time will come. Right now, it is Christmas every day, and I plan to enjoy as much of it as possible.

So far I’ve been shocked to find each season better than the last. Whatever lies ahead, I hope you always carry this sweet season with you---this time when you knew your brothers had your back. Even when you’re grown men, I know I’ll see the baby, the toddler, and the boy I knew still within you. My matroshki. I hope you see that in each other, that you’ll always be a link back to this time for each other, still watching each other’s backs, still laughing at each other’s corny jokes, still giving “awkward sibling hugs” (thank you, Gravity Falls).

more than all the stars,

Mom




14 comments:

  1. Oh gosh! This is great! I completely relate to the "golden age when everyone can buckle their own seat belt!" We are so close to this ourselves (my boys are 4 and 6). What a great time in your family's life to enjoy. I love your photo of them on your porch. Priceless.

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    1. Thanks, Katie! It does feel like a miracle to say "get in the car" and then just buckle in yourself.

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  2. That last photo walking into school together is just priceless! I love it!

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  3. this is just perfection! you are an amazing writer as well as photographer! Looking forward to next month's letter already!

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    1. Wow, Chrissy, that comment just made my day. Looks like we are hitting similar stages at the same time--3 kids in school and time alone for the 1st time in over a decade. I'm looking forward to your take next month too.

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    1. That totally cracked me up, John. But it's only because you weren't reading about incandescent light bulbs for a change.

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  5. These are your Christmas years, enjoy them. It is a wonderful phase in life as the boys start doing more for themselves and you can enjoy being “with” them instead of doing “for” them. And then, in the blink of an eye the house starts to empty out. I love your writing, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Love, Maureen

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    1. Thanks, Maureen. So true---fun to enjoy being with instead of always serving. I so appreciate you reading. Mom never went online, but when McMahons comment on Facebook or here, I feel like she's seeing it too:)

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  6. I love the hand holding photo, did they do that on their own?? I love watching the relationships among brothers when they think no one is looking.

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    1. I'm sure Nolie initiated it, whether or not they were willing:) I love the glimpse you describe, when they think no one is looking. Funny---I also find that I see more through my lens than I do otherwise. It was only while framing this shot that I realized my middlest had left his backpack in our car!

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  7. You are an amazing writer. It is so true that you think no season could get better, yet they do. I think my favorite part of your letter, "Even when you’re grown men, I know I’ll see the baby, the toddler, and the boy I knew still within you." So beautiful.

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