This afternoon Sophia and I spent an hour or so wandering around outside. Clay, Tre, and Max were off at the gym and Raphael was running around, engaged in feral acts of water ballooning (no, if you're wondering, it was NOT actually warm enough for water balloons. Beware the feral ballooner). So Sophia and I meandered around, eventually ending up in the back yard, on the trampoline.
She was fairly vibrating with excitement as I pulled her shoes off and lifted her inside the net. Then I climbed in and zipped it up behind me and leaned back to watch her go. And lordy, did she go.
She leaped and bounced and flopped and ran and ran and ran and ran. She is such a light-boned birdlike girl that she barely causes the mesh to dent beneath her, but her joy at being there was so profound it was like relief. The static electricity caused her hair to stand straight out from her head, in bright lines, like a child's drawing of the sun. She bounded her way over to me and petted at my hair, perplexed, so I suppose mine was doing the same thing.
I sat and enjoyed the sun on my back and this bright-eyed girl before me, and thought about taking this picture, cupping it in my hands and dropping it here for you to see too. I heard Raphael's cry in the distance, a rallying back to the hose to fill more water balloons, and the answering bellows of several similarly feral hearts.
It occurred to me how many of my stories are about Sophia these days. I wonder if it seems to you that I only see her. The truth is that while I have sat with each of my sons today and let them cry against me, their stories are increasingly not mine to share. And yet Sophia is so often right here, in my line of sight. More often than not, I can reach out and touch her. And her stories are so simple and easy and clear.
Yesterday was Clay's birthday (happy birthday, love!), and I keep remembering a moment. We were making posters for him, and all four of the kids were on the floor, arrayed around the marker box with their posters. They looked like a subtly shifting, repeating pattern on a quilt. I was doing a thousand things at once, and yet the sight of them stopped me in my tracks. People tend to enthuse that Clay loves the boys like they are his own, but they are wrong. Clay loves us all because we all belong to each other, and there is no division of belonging there.
I may mostly share Sophia stories these days, but this is closer to the truth. We are knit together in ways simple and profound, and it is the loveliest thing I have ever lived.