At this moment I am watching you fly a kite with our oldest son. You are running full speed ahead across an endless stretch of grass, trying to catch the wind.
He runs beside you, smiling that smile. He admires you. Wants to hold the string just like you. Wants to prove that he is big enough to make things happen, just like you.
I watch you run and think to myself how old we are. How we fumbled the string to the kite and tried in vain for 30 minutes to get it in the air. (Has it been that long?!) I must have prayed a million sentence prayers for God to make that cheap kite fly. He did His heavenly work and here you are doing yours.
I am so thankful.
You run with him while I shelter our baby in the car away from the slight chill of winter turning to spring. I am watching it all, seeing you with new eyes. Sipping creme brûlée coffee (because there is such a thing) and stingily sneaking bites of warm chocolate chip cookie just out of view so I don't have to share.
These days, these memories in the making, are part of what make it all worth it. When I see him get the hang of it, sprinting as the kite trails him 30 feet in the air, joy proudly displayed on his face; and when I feel the pride of watching him complete the simplest of tasks, my heart reminds me this is important, precious, sacred work.
We were always a team, but now we are fighting for more than just us. Wrapped up in our story are these two beautiful boys who rely on the strength of our love, while we rely on the faithfulness of our God.
It is hard on our marriage at times. There are nights I want nothing more than to wrap myself in your arms and love you without words. Or take the 30 minute drive to D.C. and walk around the monuments (after all the tourists have retreated to their hotel rooms) whispering our dreams in the dark. These well-meaning thoughts are often interrupted by cries. Fatigue. Work. Or (my personal favorite), Lincoln's frequent request for one of us to check his room for imagined spiders.
The baby is smiling at me now - the toothless, gummy smile I miss from our oldest - and I find myself smiling too. We did it, you and me. We made a family. We've got each other. We've got a life together. We've got our boys.
How in the world did this happen? To what do we owe these blessings? Why should we be so very happy, so very full even in this longest shortest season?
It is long and short, isn't it? All of it, I mean. We can only hope we have many more memories to make, many more years in our future, but I am not naive. I know this life is not promised. I have loved you these five plus years and they could end at any time.
I am owed nothing and yet I have everything.
How sweet it has been loving you. How life-changing this work of birthing and raising little humans. One day, if we are blessed to see it, our boys will be men. With wives, children of their own. I wonder if I will remember with fondness the "difficult" times, then. Or if I will choose to only recall simple joys like this afternoon: outings with a square-faced boy, a cheap kite and his one-in-a-million dad, watched by a drooling baby and an emotional mess of a mom.
We are different than when we set out five years ago, that's for sure. Better, in all truthfulness. Much, much better.
Because even though everything has changed, nothing has changed at all.