Saturday, August 4, 2012

They Bob

They bob.
They wink and wave and smile, fall over and get back up again.
They sputter and shake like puppies, bewildered and offended at a sudden change of events.
But they bob.

They float back to the surface, reaching for the sun.
Their energy.
It's as if they draw it from the flailing of arms and legs.
Like solar powered perpetual motion machines.

They've drunk half the lake by now.
Falling, mouths wide open, laughing.
Bellies full of algae, sand, plankton, small fish?
But they bob.

There have been wild whoops.
The excitement of a few dollars' spending money, some ice cream, a penny on the ground.
There have been squeezed-so-hard-eyes-shut-in-the-effort hugs.
The gratitude of small gestures, the dawning realization of a world so much larger than themselves.
There have been sullen mutterings.
The little indignation of inconvenience required of them.
There have been torrents of tears.
The injuries of person, of heart, of feelings that come from being the smallest in the room, the ones with the least say in things.
There have been shouts, giggles, mad dancing, the maniacal laughter of using that last ounce of energy to just let go.
There have been tiny snores and snuffles in the night, small bodies seeking solace in something familiar, to lie like a spoon and be sheltered, safe in the soft warmth of their origins that they know like breathing, like food.
There have been explosions of every color: mean red, the indigo of loneliness, the violet hues of twilight come too soon, the verdant joy that rolls like hills and breathes life into its surroundings, the firecracker oranges of cackling mirth, the stormy blacks of despair, indecision, exhaustion, frustration, concession.

And still they bob.
These large and messy presences, bound so tightly into small, lean bodies.
These impossibly buoyant little souls of whom much is demanded.
They roll with the changing tides, slip under, stand up, sputter, smile and do it again.
They reach out, grasp each other's wrists and tug.
They tumble, collapsed into a heap of each other and come up fighting.
Fighting for air, for space, for solid footing, for a place in the sun.

Love seems an inadequate word for what happens inside me for them.
They grip my viscera with their grabbing little hands and eyelashes and that tilt of small chins, a wink, a sudden tear or smile. The curves in the backs of their little knees, their strong little shoulders, the moles on each of their cheeks, their breath, those dark and endless eyes.
They grip me and they pull me up, an aching lightness fills me up.
They take me with them.
And they bob.


  1. And thank heavens that they do, eh? I feel like if one day they didn't, I would just break. I wouldn't know what to do. Children, in all their lovely buoyancy, are definitely inspiring. Beautifully said.

  2. Beautiful, how can I call myself a writer when you steal all the words from me every time you write. Just beautiful is all you leave me with to describe what you post.

    'They bob' Love it!

  3. "They grip me and they pull me up, an aching lightness fills me up.
    They take me with them."


  4. Wow, thanks for putting a smile on my face, I was right there with you.

  5. My stomach flipped so many times while I read this! How our children own our hearts!!

  6. As always you take these little things and make out of them something gorgeous and eternal. Thanks.


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