Miracle (Year 1)

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I love you, Wesley.

It isn't how much you smile, though that is wonderful. It isn't how much you learn, how long you can focus on a single problem, how you beg for books to be read to you all the time, how you always want to join me in my cooking, and say "hot!" It isn't all the little things, or even what they add up to. It is more basic, more binary than that.

It is that you are ours.

It is that you are.

That is the miracle.

I have asked for many more years with you, as any parent does. But there is no peak knowledge, no peak capacity to a human. You are fully you, as fully as I am me. The potential you have is only icing on a fully baked cake. Any thought less is sacrilege: you are no less than me, you are as much as me - if anything, you are more (unsullied by disenchantment, by insecurity, by selfishness, so quick to love and believe and trust, as if that was what the world was for).

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There is one particular thing I want you to learn: scale. So much knowledge can be summed up in comparisons of scale. One of your favorites books right now poses two questions: “What is smaller than a flea?” and “What is bigger than the sky?” The answer to the first, according to this book for kids, is “A world of things too small to see.” To the second: “The never ever ending sky.” I hope you understand how trite both of those are. There are real answers. In fact, there is one answer to both questions. An overarching, and an underpinning. A first, and a last. A beginning, and an end.

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You began one year ago. Now we get to count: 1. If you live average, you’ll have 70-ish more of these. There are a thousand decisions that increase or decrease that number. My great-grandmother lived to be 101. She jogged each day until she was 97. My mother attributes her health to her positive attitude. As miraculous as this longevity is, the goal of life is not more days or more years. It is good days. You have already had so many good days.

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You broke your mother, you know. In more ways than one. But the pain let you graft into her in a way too precious for me to covet. Even if I must admire the bond you share at a distance, it is worth it. This year has been the story of you, beginning, but it has also been the story of her, changing chapters. I would pick no better son to hurt her than you, and no more constant warmth, no more ambitious mind to challenge her and nestle into her than you.

You are the miracle.

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- Shannon

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Miracle:

A tired word for tired people.

Code for uncanny/incredible/can't.

A name for an event I must admit

makes me believe the supernatural exists.

You were born 1 year and 34 minutes ago.

I caught you.

You were a tired word born to tired people.

You stood for the incredible.

You were an event I must admit

made me believe the supernatural exists.

You traipse through the days,

hunkered into my elbow crook.

You while toward time I do not have

and you find it for me.

You careen frequently,

veer on and off my path

at the most inconvenient intervals.

You furl up to say goodnight once a day

like clockwork conjured

from some preimagined rhythm.

You tinge everything with smile,

mull the click of buckles,

find the kilter in the sleep cycle,

and hoodwink me with wink-attempts

and chuckles.

You are a fresh take on stale speech.

You stand for the simple.

You are an event I still admit

makes me believe God exists.

- Evan

Turning 30, an experience

I got to try my hand at knitting, make kokedama by hand, and eat sushi 31 floors above Bellevue. Not pictured, but I also got to sing karaoke til my hearts content, cuddle my nephews and nieces, and drop Wes off for many hours so that I could miss him so much. Cheers to all the people who made me feel so loved and known at 30 years in <3

Happy Birthday, Shannon

Got gifted a big date where the dessert was smokey and looked like dirt but tasted like chocolate.

Got gifted a big date where the dessert was smokey and looked like dirt but tasted like chocolate.

The Second Time Around

You gave it your best

shot across the bow.

But you are caught between then

and tomorrow and now.

You swam among sharks

circling you in water and in dreams.

But you are spinning in an arc

so fast you're splitting at the seams.

Before you come undone, out of touch

or before you touch the ground:

Remember this is a new decade of your life.

"You always build it better

the second time around."

Welcome to the big 3-0.

Welcome to the big 3-0.

That time it started snowing during Kyle's Birthday Party!

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❅❆❅❆❅❆❅❆❅❆❅❆❅❆❅❆❅❆❅❆

My dad turns 60.

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In the strange process of selecting a person

to symbolize the past, present or future,

there are two things to consider:

who has more?

And who is in each?

 

Wesley is in your past and mine,

but has more future than us both.

Your age is in his future and mine,

but you have more history than us both.

Are you Future or Past?

 

There is a symmetry to the question:

you are the base or the peak of the pyramid,

depending on the flip.

You are First of us three,

or you are Last.

 

You are the Still

before my Steady,

his Spry.

Among our Crawl, Walk, Run,

you are the Fast.

 

There is symmetry to the equation:

zero to thirty to sixty.

Three equidistant generations

of men, perhaps some meaning

in the math.

 

But whatever the Future,

whatever the Past,

I’m grateful in the Present

that you’re here,

in wisdom, conversation,

feeling and thought.

Six Years

This little girl turned six today. It was once the keen desire to have pictures of her little face that moved me to learn more about how to take a good photo. So, it’s quite magical whenever I take a photo that I love that she is in. I look at it and treasure the way a person can inspire so much without saying a word. You inspire me, Abigail, just by being you. You always will.

(✎S 📷S)

From Belize

Photo by Taylor Sporleder

Photo by Taylor Sporleder

The ocean between us has me remembering the first time I was out of the country on your birthday, also the Caribbean. You sent me away with poetry.

But I’m more excited to see what the closing lines of your 20’s will be like. You’ve always been good at ending a poem that seemed to be saying so many things, with a line that conveys it was really only about one very important thing. Maybe 29 isn’t normally the most memorable year for people, but I know you. I know your philosophy on finales. I know that you would say the beginning is only good if the ending is tac-sharp, intended, and arresting. And it’s not because you’ve planned it. You’ll feel your way there. You’ll stumble on it as you’re walking on no discernible path and listening to the twigs and leaves crunch under your feet. And hopefully I’m getting better at being less terrified of that. This decade has proven that the best endings always seem to find their way into your poetry. 

So here’s to the long walk that led you up to this year, and to the last stanza of your twenties that will find you in the year to come. 
Happy Birthday from Belize, Evan