Two: An Essay On Growing With Him

I blew out the candle flickering on the porch, the one that had illuminated that evening’s dinner, the one I had to shoo the kids away from too many times. What is it with children and fire?

“Can I blow it now?”


And when the answer continues to be no, they answer to the call of danger, and mischievously attempt a grasp—only to be blocked by their mother who is constantly looking for someone to do something somewhere. She is me. I am her.

It’s bedtime and Peter is out. The kids’ sound machine moves in-between slight crashing waves and forest rain. The noise, the lavender diffusing in their corner room in this old brownstone covers the whole space in peace. It overshadows the ambulance, the yelling addicts, and the slight scent of cigarette an occasional passerby sends into us.

I crack open our creaky old refrigerator looking for wine. I’m not sure if it’s the times or the wine or simply the fact that the house is quiet save for what I believe are crickets outside serenading me out back; but I have been feeling slightly emotional the last few days—weeks even. Like something below, something deep inside that still had to fully take shape. More emotional than usual, but still unconnected. I could not put my finger on it for the life of me.

Today it hit me: Oak is turning two. And with his upcoming birthday, I think I am feeling more things about life than I expected. We’ve been here before. River is now FIVE, for goodness sake. Experience doesn’t lessen the feeling. My tears still feel raw. With Oak’s growth, I am moving along too.

With River, I didn’t place the same time stamps of her stages. At times, Instagram has provided headaches; but then there is this very real part of it, the part that, when I allow it do so, saves my emotions for me, as well as the moments I let the world to see. Now I can go back and relive. These are like diaries I keep, with coinciding dates, and they are for me for than anybody else. Even when the caption falls short, my mind recalls those exact feelings at that exact moment. The tears roll down as I scroll on.

See, I have been working at one thing or another this past year and a half. And while Oak turning two is a celebration of his birth, it is in fact, a reminder of all the things I’ve worked through this year, and all the things still left to do. It is a reminder of life, and how it’s worth living.

(Portrait by Morgan Pansing)

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