They're no longer growing on me, but up the length of my body with a thriving speed. One stands by my side and I no longer have to lean down to meet his eyes. The other is just below, squirmy, only at times steady and breathy and still. I tell them to remind me to show them kudzu vine the next time we're in Florida, because you remind me of it.
At night we cuddle together in the center of the bed, a pile of softness and bones, and watch Kid President videos on YouTube. Always ending with the one where Kid President kisses Beyonce on the cheek, and then they toss and turn in a fit of eww!! giggles. Then we catch our breath and steady into literature. Currently, we're reading Charlotte's Web.
We've arrived to another stage of our life. It is a place where independence isn't such a battle of wills they cannot find language for, but a place where they find words to tape to their thoughts and go on to converse - at times so maturely that I feel as if I'm choking on bubbles of air. Like a few nights ago when Theo brought up slavery at dinner, mid-chew, and child slavery, and did I know it's still happening right now?
Sully walks around in his own world singing Irreplaceable by Beyonce.
You must not know about me. You must not know about me. I could have another you in a minute...to the left, to the left...
And I manage to swallow the bubbles.
When they were sticky-soft-sweet babes in my arms with gummy O mouths and nectar dribbles, I half believed anyone who'd tell me they'd grow up, they'd get bigger, and life with them would just get better and better. In a continual state of equal parts slumber and extraordinary gratitude, I was weary then. Now I'm just a believer.
We were in the kitchen a few nights ago. Theo was slicing cucumbers for our salad, I was cooking dinner, and Sully was sitting at the island chatting with us. Theo asked me if his name had a meaning. Yes, I said. Your name means "a divine gift from God". Then Sully asked what his names means. "One who dwells by the meadow."
Again, the bubble. I swell.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'll do my best.