Heart & Soul | Where The Boys Are, A Memory Keeping Revolution

In our collaborators Facebook group this week I was reminded that "we pour ourselves into this project". Yes, yes we do. 

I have never been concerned with how many likes we get, or how many shares a post receives, or if anyone beyond this little circle ever knows it exists. My measure of success for this project has always been and will continue to be the heart that goes into our shares. And that, that my friends, is what you have here this month. So very thankful for this group of women who encourage and inspire me. 

Welcome to our July collaborative post. We hope that sharing our story inspires you to share yours. 

Here we go......

Monica

For five years, you’ve been mine. I’ve been privy to your most brilliant inventions, ambitious dreams of the future, and wise speculations about the world. We’ve shared hundreds of books, hours of song, days of play and adventures. Now, as the end of summer draws near, I have to pull myself together and make ready to share you with someone else. It might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But you? You’re ready. For new ideas, books, songs, and adventures. My heart begs “please stay,” but in your young wisdom you, once again, are showing me the way to the next big bend in the road. We’ll change course together, sweet boy. - Andrea Moffatt

This is your happy place.  It is one of your favorite parts of summer.  Spending time on Grandma & Grandpa’s farm means playing outside all day, taking tractor rides, digging in the dirt and picking crab apples.  This trip also included water play, building a birdhouse with Grandpa, roasting hot dogs, reading with Grandma and going to town for milkshakes.  This truly is a paradise for you boys. - Heather Reagan

There was a time not so long ago (maybe this morning) when you (often) found yourself in the throes of misery over being excluded from what your big brothers were doing.  They could be mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage or simply sleeping in on a summer’s day, and you’re ruffled if you’re not part of it. Part of them.  And so it is worth noting—no, worth celebrating—your beautiful, oxygenated joy at seeing an image of them having a fabulous time without you. That’s growth.  

Ice cream helps. - Jen Lucas 

If you don't hear my words first, whose will you hear? If you don't see my example, whose will you follow? 

The evening of July 7th I was up late working when I watched events unfold that would forever change the city we call home. In the morning, I had a choice. Do I struggle to find the words to explain or do I stay silent and hope that your awareness will remain oblivious? Knowing this wasn't something I would be able to keep from any of you, I sat you all on the sofa and said, "Last night a bad man hurt good people and our city is sad."

Despite my best efforts you all still had so many questions. And after the littles were out of earshot we had a more appropriate age level conversation with more of the details. 

I needed something more. I needed to work through, in my way,  what had happened so I organized efforts for flags at our neighborhood station mourning the loss of Sgt Smith and ribbons on our elementary campus. Buying supplies and giving our words actions opened the door to  more conversations. 

You, as the oldest, were the quietest about this. But, if I can't make sense of this how do I expect you to? I hope that hearing my words first and seeing my example will one day serve you well. - Monica McNeill 

I never want to forget how helpful you like to be outside.  Right now that means a lot of watering plants and spreading mulch with dad, and to some, that would be boring work, but for you, it brings you a sense of accomplishment and purpose.  Now if only we could direct some of that hard work toward picking up toys. - Donya Gjerdingen

This was your birthday, your 12th birthday! And as we do every year, no one opens a single card or present until all 3 of you are up – this can be tough and I’ve definitely witnessed some underhand antics over the years! “no mum – I didn’t wake him up – he was awake already “ accompanied by a dig into the ribs!! Presents are then opened in mum and dads bed, even though on this day dad was already at work long before you opened your eyes.

Unwrapping complete, you decided to grab birthday cuddle with your youngest brother – makes a change from donking him over the head with a light saber I guess!! Happy birthday Ollie – 12 years of you – goes to fast and your teenage ways are already creeping in! - Nina Callow

All too often I look over and you’re zoned out in your own little world. The more I watch, the more I wish for more quiet moments when I just get stare at you without you knowing! Don’t get me wrong, the times when you’re filling the house with lots of noise and giggles are awesome but in these moments, I get to see you completely at ease, at rest and deep in thought and that makes me happy. - Anna Bein

Did my eyes just flash forward fifteen or twenty trips around the sun? The two of you, side by side, navigating in the direction of any adventures, that light up the wires of your imaginations. I hope my eyes do not deceive me. Because this is my wish for you. For my brothers, together. I want the ends of the earth to be your playground. I want to open my mailbox to tattered postcards, scratched with nights under the stars, and miles under your feet. I want you to understand that your humanity is your most valuable currency, and the greatest measure of success. And in that same flash, I am pulled back into our right now, and watch you play in the front seat of our favorite time machine. Side by side. My brothers, together. And on the radio, our favorite song, “And we had laugh through the night, Call the star's, By the fire shining on, Through the night, We will run, To the rising life and on, Through the night, Burn the flames, The world will know our Names...” (Brother, by the Mighty Oaks) - Kelly Sutton 

“The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or songs.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well, this job is not befitting that description, but it’s surely a first step.  Here’s to finding and making your “songs” and experiencing your “crowning fortune”. 

ps.  Yay for summer work and free movies!!! - Susan Keller