My boys. I think often of the men you could become. I have so many hopes and dreams for you, though I would never dispute that your life and future will be up to you. For now, I'm thankful that you're young with many years ahead of you. I'm thankful that you're both too young to know how strange it is to be home so much. I'm pained to think of the experiences you've not had these last 6 months of quarantining and social distancing. These concepts were foreign to me throughout my childhood, but they're likely to be reality for you. I hope the limitations that have come with this chapter of history don't last.
I'm thankful you have each other. There's solace in knowing that you two are learning from one another; learning to negotiate, compromise, be kind and compassionate. I'm thankful you have the mother that you do. I'm grateful that she has the carefree creativity to keep your bodies and minds occupied and growing, despite the headwinds of this year. While she has assumed the role of your teacher in addition to mother, you don't seems to notice because she's always been both to you. You're fortunate for that, and I won't let you forget it.
I'm grateful that you never let me take myself too seriously. I appreciate your ability to make a game out of anything. Your imaginations are constantly working to create a world of wonder and play. Thank you for inviting me to join you. Thank you for wanting to share your imaginary world with me. I welcome the vacation from the adult world, whether collecting rocks, or pretending to be everything from robots, to dinosaurs, to Trolls, knights, ninja's, or superheroes.
My youngest boy. My snuggly kid. The boy with the best bedhead in the business and belly-laughs that bring smiles to the whole room. You are already showing confidence, curiosity, and compassion beyond your years. You show tremendous focus and a desire to master skills. You're a remarkable little boy.
My oldest boy. The kid that's the life of the party. You have a tremendous imagination, a big heart, and a strong sense for fairness. You love to wrestle and laugh, run and race. You love to make other people laugh more than anything else. You are a smart guy, that only wants to do right by those you love. You have immense strength in you.
These photos were taken on a random family day trip to an island in the Puget Sound. It was a perfect day. it was the kind of day that makes your forget about all that plagues our world right now. I'm thankful for the photos and memories. it's already been two weeks since this excursion, and all I can think about is how little we were able to utilize the summer months. The leaves and temperatures have started changing, and soon our usual hibernation in the gray northwest winter will make me long for sun. Photos like these will make me ache for it even more. I can only hope that when the sun and warmth return, we find the world on a better path and my boys enjoying the fullness of it.