Lately I have been noticing the things that stay the same in my children. It is true that at this stage in their growing up everything appears to be moving at lightening speed and the changes on their bodies are evident everyday. I am certain that my oldest son is an inch taller every morning that he comes out of his room. And that my youngest is gearing up to do the very same thing. It can be easy for me to get all caught up in what is changing and long for the days when they were little boys. To see the ending coming faster than I want it to. But when I can take in that extra deep breath and pay good attention to what is actually going on around me I come to see all the places that we are marching along just as we always have.
The beach is my most favorite place to visit for the simple fact that is slows me right now. As well, the beach has been a constant in our lives and is a super great place to see how little truly has changed. When the boys were little we lived moments from the beach and always went there. Especially when the world was topsy turvy and there was energy to be released. We went when it was warm, we went when it was cold, we went in the rain and windstorms were a most favorite. So heading to the beach on an overcast drizzly day also brought a familiarity with it.
My youngest standing in the photo above has always been called to by the ocean. For as long as he has stepped to the shores edge the waves have called to him. He calls back and 99 percent of the time ends up with some portion on the ocean on his clothing. He never changes into shorts, or swim gear as he assures me he will not be getting wet. I smile with the knowledge that he will. And that he prefers the challenge of driving home without his wet clothing on and that having a change of clothing available for him isn’t a necessity. But feeling the ocean on his body is.
Here my oldest, pants rolled up knows what it feels like to be wet. The first time he went to the ocean and was able to walk, he stepped straight into the water. And then immediately needed the wet things removed from his body. He has learned some caution around water, ways to enjoy and stay dry but not with the sort of pause that ever gets in the way of letting the pure joy of outdoor ocean air sweep him up into the magic.
And then this happens. The recreating of photos they took years ago at the same spot. Their bodies bigger, their enthusiasm for jumping just the same. I see all of them, all the ages, the stages, the preferences in the stillness of being fully present right here.
Sometimes because we are spending most of our days side by side I can loose sight of what is really going on. I can see the teenaged brother frustrated with the pre-teens desire to turn inward more often then outward. I can see the pre-teens sadness as not being where he can find his way into connection with is role model. But the wide angle shots always look more like this.
Two brothers, skilled in conversing with one another, even when they are on different sides of an opinion.
Taking on projects that to others may seem impossible but through their eyes, side by side, they can do it. And really anything the world wants to through their way. (pictured here they are using sand in water to build me a bridge to cross over to where they are and they believe it is fully possible).
Always ready and willing to help each other. To grab on, hold tight and lift the other out of harms ways.
I take this day, this simple trip to the beach and hold it tight, for the lessons. The lessons that at the heart of who we are as a family, we are always the same. We are connected, we are supportive, we are unconditionally loving one another in order to lift each person up to grab hold of every dream they choose to chase. My hope, is to keep noticing, cause I know time is only going to keep moving faster and faster, and I want to anchor to the constants. To embrace the chaos because that anchor is holding our hearts to the intention we laid out way back when we began this journey together. I will notice it all, because I have on good authority from those who have gone before me, that these noticing’s will meld in to the sort of memories that will buoy my spirit when these amazing young men launch out into the wider world.