One year ago I sat in this very room, soft loose puppy skin of a newborn baby curled up on my tired belly. Boys scrambling up, kissing, nuzzling, sometimes trying to squeeze the very love out of that sweet new human, then being shooed out, quietly, gently, quickly. Seeing my bigger boys fall in love with this small baby has been nothing if not enchanting. Seeing them speak softly, coax smiles, and hold close this little bundle, has been the most graceful point in nearly every day that has passed this last year. Though resistance has been deeply felt amongst the middle-est at times, and the firstly born one has had to come up with his own coping ways to keep the spotlight, this third boy has only brought us more together, given us more pause, settled us even deeper into our place as a family.
The very night before Miles was born, Lee and I cozied up to some live, outdoor music. I found a slump in the ground, just right for heaving my giant belly into, feeling content and full of hope, lying there on my side with nothing on my mind but the lyrics pooling into my ears. Since then, we have taken the boys to a handful of shows, there little ears surprised at the loud. Exhausted before the night really had begun. Maybe not ready for it all.
Until last night. We still didn’t make it until, “one. more. song!”, but the night went on and on with only grins, and experiences so deep and real, when I held them close to the front of the stage, you could hear the memories being etched into their little minds, even over the thumping of the amplifiers directly in front of us. My sweet Rowan in particular was drawn to the front, in a sort of dazed eye-must go, moth to the light kind of way. He wanted me to hold him close, his still dimpled and chubby hand clamped around my shoulder, while he glued his eyes to the drummer only removing them to click them on over to the upright base or the steel guitar. Every few minutes he would unhinge his elbows and let out a forceful closed eye, tight-lipped, air drumming solo. His enthusiasm was palpable. When I had asked Miles earlier in the day if he would dance with me while we watched the music, he responded as only this sweet boy would, “I only dance when my legs just feel like it.” I guess they did, because he cut a rug until the sun was well tucked in behind these green rolling hills.
I always pictured myself watching music with my family. I thought to myself as I held two heavy boys on each hip, and one holding onto my perfectly planned twirly dancing skirt, “You have arrived”.
The energy of all those people, arms up high, paying no mind to the sprinkles of rain; “Rainbow weather” the lead singer of Old Crow Medicine Show described through the microphone for an agreeing crowds ears to nod to. It was fitting that last night, with a year behind us as a family of five, I finally felt the togetherness I have craved so hard since the heat of last summer.
(PS the drummer of OCMS “liked” this last pic on instagram… yeah we are practically besties now)