Toys vs. Tools

You sit in front of your toybasket.

I plop in front of my toolbox.

The two are not so different.


Toys are tools by which we enjoy

the world;

tools are toys which we employ

to build the world.

Both should be satisfying.


But when you get older 

you will find few people feel this way.

Toys are freedom

they say,

and tools are chains.


Toys are happy

they say

and tools are sad.


Find the similarity in them:

tools can be happy,

toys can be sad.

Consider your tools toys,

and your toys tools.

Show all the world its secret joys,

and call out its hidden fools.

Practicing your sitting while the daylight slips away.  

All fall down and kisses after

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Remember, Remember

Little Pepper you turn three so very soon. Here's to you, little one, who always has a smile and an "I love you" for everyone. You bring so much laughter with your "accent" and your unique way of phrasing and naming everything. When I think of you, I cherish how you were such an easy friend to make! You've never made me work for your affection, you are so generous with it. I can't wait to learn even more about who you are this year.💞 I love you so much, little niece of mine!

"That was a good Walla Walla!"

You remind me

After exhaustion, your smile is sleep.

After turmoil, peace.

Your range of feeling is as varied as mine,

as reckless,

even as deep.

But there's a levity in your face that I have lost,

a lightweight love I long for.

On your own, you cannot walk, not even crawl,

on your own you are limited to floor.

I wonder how much there is unattainable to me

but my age deceives me into beliefs

of power, of capability.

You remind me, small movements and bones,

of my own

fragility.

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The Swing By Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing, 
  Up in the air so blue? 
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing 
Ever a child can do! 

Up in the air and over the wall, 
Till I can see so wide, 
Rivers and trees and cattle and all 
Over the countryside— 

Till I look down on the garden green, 
Down on the roof so brown— 
Up in the air I go flying again, 
Up in the air and down!

Pepper’s photobomb on the slide! 😂

As far as I can tell.

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Listen: his infant laughter is brighter than the Summer,

even though the nights have shortened.

Someday he will speak his first word

(as far as we can tell).

As far as we can tell,

he already has.

I do not know what he knows:

I have no idea how much territory his mind has explored.

I do not know what he knows:

he has already covered ground beyond my borders,

frontiers I have not.

I have not

accepted the fact that my inability to comprehend his gaze

is a remark on his comprehension.

To become like a child:

every day a discovery,

every blink an uncovering,

every touch assumed love in it.

To become like a child:

to break the flood of our disenchantment

on the rock of clean reality

(untarnished innocence).

All was meant to remain in a realm we all revoked.

To be a parent:

to watch this come, to watch it go,

to witness a clearing of the smoke

or a smoking of the clear.

His eyes will hold envy before he ever sees it.

His heart will hurt and be hurt

before he ever knows what hit him.

To be a parent:

Front row to this Autumn Reenactment, Fall

Again, renovated wrecking ball,

nothing new under sun or cloudy skies.

I will wait until he is old enough to crawl

out from under the rubble.

He will have his eyes opened,

his youth undisguised,

then - if all goes well

if I have something to say,

as far as I can tell -

he will open his own eyes.

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Strangers in the Night

I can already feel it slipping away. 

Soon I won’t remember what it was like, not knowing you. 

Every day I can see my opinion of you forming into something more solid, more opaque. I keep adding a piece to your puzzle, knowing I won’t finish it ever but still seeing more and more picture nonetheless. 

When you first got here I felt like a stranger had been placed on my chest. I would wake up in the middle of the night to feed you and stare down with so many questions. You were not intuitive to me. I think I was given a baby that smiled so early because I needed a baby that knew me, so I could learn to know him. 

I was thrown off by you. I wobbled. I could not find my center as I distractedly watched you orbit around me. 

You found your rhythm before I found mine. You led the dance.  

Today I drove by the place where we saw your first ultrasound photo and I laughed, looking back at you in the back seat. Here you are! So much of you has already bloomed into personality. I lost my breath a little back then. I stared at the stranger in the photo and felt uneasy that someone I didn’t know would change me so much.

And now that feeling is almost gone. I always remember your face now. When you first got here I would sometimes get excited to see you after sleeping because I couldn’t remember what you looked like exactly. I know the sound of your laugh. You are now a more uniquely-only-you kind of strange and less could-be-anyone stranger each day. 

I’m guessing someday I won’t be able to recall not knowing you. I may even think I’ve cornered the market on who “Wesley” is.  I want to remember that you made me “mom”, but I did not make you, Son. 

 I want to remember once the illusion of time+proximity=intimacy sets in, that we were total strangers once, until we weren’t. Until one day we woke up friends.  

“It turned out so right

For strangers in the night”

I love you when you still. 

I love you when you blur.

Your current morning routine: 

  1. Wake up around 6am. Your dad comes to get you, puts you into whatever clothes look warm and comfiest (9/10 times this is sweat pants). You help him wake up with giggles and squawks and yelps.

  2. He brings you to me shortly after so you can eat. Then you signal you’re finished by turning your head to stare out the window. You look out the window, I look at you, we snuggle, and I cherish.

  3. Your dad picks you up and you get some of his best, his morning, to play with him, talk at him, and watch him. By 7:30 you’re ready for a nap already.  

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That Little Beast: A Poem, By Mary Oliver

That pretty little beast, a poem, 
    has a mind of its own. 
Sometimes I want it to crave apples
    but it wants red meat. 
Sometimes I want to walk peacefully 
    on the shore
and it wants to take off all its clothes
    and dive in. 
Sometimes I want to use small words
    and make them important
and it starts shouting the dictionary, 
    the opportunities. 

Sometimes I want to sum up and give thanks, 
    putting things in order
and it starts dancing around the room 
    on its four furry legs, laughing 
    and calling me outrageous. 
But sometimes, when I'm thinking about you, 
    and no doubt smiling, 
it sits down quietly, one paw under its chin, 
    and just listens. 
 

With Love - Oma & Opa

<3 this week

Day 5

Day 119