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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Art Lessons

How does this happen? How? HOW?
 
2006

 2007

 2008

 Today

Owen will be four on the 21st. An age that doesn't seem quite real to me.

Of course, I say this every year.

But, seriously...where did it go? His face is thinner, and he is losing his toddler belly.

He writes his own name and  spells out words. In an act of almost unbearable cuteness, he "reads" books to his brother---"Listen, Joel. 'Let the wild rumpus start!' Look at those monsters swinging on vines. Look at those monsters dancing around. That's silly, Joely!"

He makes play-dates behind my back--"I asked Nathan's mommy if we could take him home with us today." He has real friends now, not the random offspring of my friends.

He's putting his toe into the world of being a kid, as opposed to a toddler. We go to Panera Bread, and he holds the five dollar bill in his little fist, and solemnly tells the employee that he wants a "kid grilled cheese and a kid Valentine's cookie." He takes the liberty of putting the change in the box for Haitian relief, after I told him the money went to kids without homes or toys.

Suddenly, inexplicably, he desires privacy. He takes his clothing and gets dressed in the laundry room, a comforting place for him, surrounded by his dearest friends...the washer, dryer,  and recycling bin. "Don't let Joel BOTHER me!" he announces, "I. Need. Privacy."

I ask him:

"Who's in charge, Owen?"

"Joely," he replies, laughing to himself.

"Who's in charge, Owen?" I repeat, a bit sternly.

"You are, Mommy. You and Daddy...and Joely."

I also ask him, after he has done his brother wrong:

"What is your job, Owen?"

He knows the answer, "To take care of Joel."

"Why?"  I prompt.

"Because he loves me and I love him!"

***
My job is taking care of this boy, and I feel like I'm painting a masterpiece in my sleep. I rub the fog of day-to-day living away and gaze, astonished, at the work of art I see before me. 

Then, with humility, I realize that I didn't paint it at all. The colors, the textures, the images, and the passion are Owen's work, not mine. I'm just like anybody else, taking it all in.

I watch in grateful, holy silence.

27 comments:

Erin said...

My twin girls turned 4 in December and I agree---it's crazy how much they change, learn, and grow so quickly.

We love Where the Wild Things Are, too! And such cute pics!

Happy Almost Birthday, Owen!

Unknown Mami said...

Nancy, is it your goal to get me to cry as often as possible? Seriously? I love your soul and I am so glad that your brain knows how to write words that reveal your soul to me.

Happy Birthday to a work of art!

Dale said...

Happy Birthday, Owen!

clearness said...

This is a very nice post. I remember when Isabella turned 4 and I was all astonished. How on earth can that be possible? Four seems so much older and no longer a toddler no longer a wee little girl. The beginning of being a big girl, the start of her growing up and becoming independent.

In a few months she will be five..FIVE and she will start kindergarten.....kindergarten!!!! I'm freaking out just a little

Melani said...

Nancy, it is incredible how time flies! Wonderful post and great pics! My "baby", my first born, is 17~jeez makes me feel so old! LOL j/k but he will be 18 this year, glad his birthday is in December, so I have time before my "baby boy" is an adult, scary

Jen said...

My God, he's a handsome little tyke! :) And I love that he knows he's supposed to take care of his brother; that's precious and lovely.

Robin said...

This gave me goose bumps and a warm feeling..it was so beautifully said...

Bekah said...

A little teary here... almost every sentence my 4 year old says begins with, "when I'm 5 and in kindergarten..."

adrienzgirl said...

Four is my favorite age. FAVORITE. They say the best stuff then. They know things. They have their own opinions that they have gained through experiences. Four is my favorite.

Where The Wild Things Are has been my favorite childhood book since I was in preschool. I still love every single word.

This post was beautiful Nancy.

LB said...

Ahhh... He's very cute. I totally understand. My daughter just turned 4 as well. She's no longer a baby, and it kinda makes me sad. (I said "kinda." I do not miss those days of no sleep and poopy diapers!)

Bethany said...

Beautiful, touching post!

michelle said...

This is beautiful, Nancy.

They are miracles.

Happy Birthday

only a movie said...

That's some gorgeous writing about your gorgeous boy.

Happy birthday to you both.

Daffy said...

"... with humility, I realize that I didn't paint it at all. The colors, the textures, the images, and the passion are not mine. I'm just like anybody else, taking it all in.

I watch in grateful, holy silence."

So beautifully put...a truer word has not been spoken. God's miracle of life is so amazing!

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

It's so bitter sweet watching them grow up!!! I miss my son's baby voice now that he's 10

Tracie said...

I would like to leave a comment but there's something in my eye. *sniff sniff*

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

"He has real friends now, not the random offspring of my friends." This one killed me too when it happened with my older son Nino. It totally made me realize that he was a little person all on his own and not just a piece of me floating around by my side.

Cat said...

I love the phrase painting a masterpiece in your sleep. You're such an eloquent writer. Owen is so sweet, and such a funny kid. Your stories about him are always so sweet. You're a lucky mama to have such awesome boys.

Caution Flag said...

It gets only better and maybe a little worse, but the parenting thing is pretty sweet no matter how many years you're at it.

noisycolorfullively said...

I don't know why, maybe it's because I'm seeing two little masterpieces marred by the darkness of someone who has marked them forever (even though I have faith that they can still turn out beautifully), but this has me in puddles.

Precious Owen, happy, happy birthday! Happy day to you too mom!

Ms. Moon said...

Honey Doll, you said it all right there. Beautiful child, beautiful mama with a beautiful heart.

Coby said...

Just beautiful - your words, and your children.

Minivan Lover said...

Love it. I love that you do such a good job helping the boys realize how much they love each other. SO important.

Marla said...

Oh, that gorgeous face ....

Corrie Howe said...

Very nice tribute to your son. He'll love it when he gets older.

AudreyO said...

Hope his birthday was amazing!!!

Marena said...

This is such a beautiful post Nancy! It is so nice to get to know Owen and Joel through your blog. Thanks for sharing.