studying my teacher

He is new here.

Or so they say.

But sometimes I look at him and I think he is

not

new.

He has been here.

He is much older than I.

But old

or new.

It doesn’t much matter.

I know he has something to teach me.

So I study the dents of his knuckles.

I study the rolls of his neck.

I breathe him in deep.

Lightly brush my hand across the tufts of his hair.

Listen to his shallow breathes.

Listen for his deep sighs.

Waiting for his lessons.

at the edge

I’m past the age when New Year’s is supposed to matter. And even when it did matter, it rarely lived up to my expectations. Eventually, I started to focus more the new beginning rather than the party. I love beginnings, so it’s been a fully positive development.

But this New Year’s I may have discovered the recipe for New Year’s success: a couple dozen committed people, some new, some the best of friends, far away from everything else.

They brought their gifts of food and drinks and their favorite records. We walked down the unpaved, single lane road to find the horse shoe crab marker, leading through a marshy path to a sandy beach. I tried my best to disguise the waddle that came with my ninth month of pregnancy, while my best friend carried Alamae on her back. The damp skies made the marsh grasses glow. We had to pull Sena from the muck, but there was hardly a complaint among them.

We came back to feast for hours on a perfectly roasted chicken, beautiful hand pies, smoky pork loins, loaded baked potatoes and fiery Thai soup. My friend Jean thought to bring 24 glass champagne flutes, and so when we counted down the final seconds of a tough year, there was a strange touch of elegance.

For the first time in ages I don’t have a resolution. except maybe to try my best to recreate the magic of that party next year.

a poorly documented summer on film

I wanted to hold on to summer for longer.

Tomorrow I was trying to sneak the kids back to the ocean for a last taste of salt and sand, but Florence said no.

And so it feels like fall is coming before I’m ready to say good bye to long days and suntan lines.

Here are the too few shots when I managed to pull out a camera between the exhaustion and morning sickness that come along with the first trimester. Next summer there will be a new chubby legged, big headed child to photograph.

And maybe next summer, Gus will stop running off long enough that I actually get a picture of him too.

this is all i have

Where can we store these memories?

What card catalogue can we access to pull each moment back and hold it in our hands, shifting it in the light, inspecting it with eyes wrinkled from experience?

I want to go back to when they were each brand new. And to when they each crawled, padded butts skyward. I want to go back to the first words that I have forgotten. To the weight of smaller bodies with arms around my neck. I want to go back to the first time I smelled their hair straight from the ocean. I want to see their tear-streaked faces turn to smile upon seeing me at the doorway.

But this is all I have. This record of the way light hit chemicals and was then transferred to pixel.

It is a cold substitute for the feeling of soft, padded toes, or the way it feels to pull my fingers through their sun-streaked, tangled hair.

Here they are, running through the woods. Here they are walking along the water's edge. 

Here they are during the era of the fedora. Upon waking from a nap that will cease to exist soon enough. Here they are while they can still be held.

These are not enough.

These are all I have.

around here

I don't want to cook dinner.

Or fold laundry.

Or clean a single corner

I want to read books written in the South.

And take pictures of my kids standing in slants of morning light.

I want to listen to music.

And take walks.

And tickle the goodness out of little toddler armpits.

It is never quiet here.

They are jumping. They are fighting. They are singing Hamilton and Frozen and the Wheels on the Bus. And sometimes I'm singing too.

Alamae and Jettie are finally potty training.

And Gus and Sena seem to be nicer to each other.

It looks like we've survived the winter.