The summer has brought unexpected gifts and changes, the foundational one being joining with a man who brings only good, righteousness, delight, and brightness to my life. He is a gift I run out of words for, beyond...gift. I could write hundreds of words on him himself, but of the gift of him - too deep. I end by just being grateful and undone by my fortune.
We have soaked in and wandered these past 8 months or so. A Florida cape, Lake Michigan storms and grasses, Seattle ferries, Chicago's river and shouldered towers and Wrigleyville, Indiana back roads, Joshua's trees in the western desert. We have written and spoken thousands of words to each other, driven hundreds of miles, run countless steps, and rejoiced in weaving two main households and 9 satellite homes (children, in-laws, parents) together.
He also brings...grandchildren! Two independent, smart, funny girls, and a boy on the way. The boy will carry two of his three names, as my boys carry all of MB's three names in various combinations. It is a new reality for me this year, that something of both of them are tangibly on the earth and will be for the next 100 years or so. Of course the genes are there...but the names go before and express an identity to others that genes don't show explicitly.
And I wonder, what will accompany the names? What identification do my children (and grandchildren?!) have with MB, with MV, with me? What of us and our lives are they taking with them into the next 80 years? I have some guesses, I have some wishes, and I have 40 years left (please, God) to refine the partially planned, largely serendipitous impressions of childhood and youth into a measured, wise partnership in adulthood. I do feel we are now partners, as they bring their lives, experiences, and tools, and I add mine as needed and wanted. I have loved every phase of motherhood (loved in faith during the 12-year-old years!) and this one just as much, possibly even more. I can't decide: it's hard to compare the joy of small arms and bodies wrapped around mine 10 and 20 years ago to the deep satisfaction of the conversations and man-hugs I get now. I will take them both and be so, so grateful that I can be blessed with them and continue sowing and reaping.