The boys @ Banana Republic.
She Would Always Come
We went to Wyatt and Seth’s school tonight for the Reading Cafe. Wyatt’s teacher, Mr. Bow (who is a rock star in Wyatt’s eyes – and not far behind that with Miska and me), had each kid record a poem they had written. When I heard Wyatt’s voice, well, I don’t think I can describe it.
The last paragraph tells a million stories. Wyatt has struggled much with fear, particularly this past year. We’ve been with him, held him, slept by his bed (and in his bed – and him by our bed) many nights. We’ve gotten frustrated, reached – and been pushed over (far over) – our limit, yelled more than we should.
But there it was in print, that last line – “She would always come.” You wonder if your kids ever know how much they are loved, if they have any idea of the tenacity of your devotion for them and your commitment to all things good for them. You wonder if they know that they can relax in this world because our heart is on guard for them, all the time, every moment. Miska choked down a few tears tonight, listening in on the gift Wyatt gave her (and us).
“I guess he gets it,” Miska said. I guess he does.
Burning Silver and Gold
My mom told me I was born in the night
When I was walking up the wall
Her blood was my blood and
Her food was my food.
I was soaking in the sweet dreams,
Sleeping in the hospital.
The next morning
I was an inch taller and
I was growing…
My eyes were a burning silver and gold.
The next night I had a nightmare,
I called, “Mamma.”
She would always come.
Seth turns 6 today, this joy of mine moves another year toward manhood. I have to tell you, I love this boy. I’m happy today, happiness mixed with a twinge of sorrow too.
I’m happy because I am overwhelmed with gratitude. For all his years, this one no less, Seth has offered me the gifts of laughter (like with his break-dancing) and mercy (his “I forgive you”) and honesty (“Dad, you hurt me”) and cuddles (still) – not to mention being my most faithful coffee pal. Seth (his innocence, his tenderness, his recklessness, his wide-hearted abandonment, his questions) remind me of what is good and wholesome in this world, that the whole botched thing actually isn’t irrevocably shot to pieces.
But I also feel sadness. Not for a year passed by or because of sentimental nostalgia. I am a bit melancholy because I realize that I have not been all I want to be for him this past year. I have not been as present, as generous, as playful, as courageous toward him as I long to be.
The thing about longing, though, is that it flings open the door to tomorrow. Regret pulls us back into the gloomy what-might-have-been, but longing invites us out into the sunshine of what-we-hope-yet-to-become. I’m choosing the longing.
And, Seth, I long to be your dad. Not just your authority figure or the old man who pays the bills. I don’t just want to be your chummy sidekick either. Far more than all that, I want to be your dad, the dad who loves you with all his heart and who believes in you, even more than you believe in yourself.
Happy Birthday, Son!
your dad – always.
Miska is away to Richmond Hill for a short retreat, which means the Collier house is all men all the time.
Here is a short schedule:
(1) A game of UNO with our shirts off (Wyatt’s request)
(2) Wacky photo session (view to the left)
(3) The boys making their first blog entries:
Wyatt: Don’t be dumb. Be cool!
Seth: My dad rocks!! (with only minor coaching)
And up next:
(4) Guy’s movie – I thought it was going to be Rocky, but I was outvoted – Eragon
(5) Playing with power tools (a power washer to be exact)