As I sit down to write at the kitchen table I look out the window and see the boys adventuring in the snow. They love exploring the wide world of our country property, playing in whatever way their imagination takes them. Tadhg stops now and lays down in the snow to make a snow angel.
So often Tadhg takes Peregrine on long meandering walks around the property, exploring or re-visiting familiar haunts. Tadhg is two and Pip is one, but Tadhg is much more able to do the walking. Still, Pip tromps along after him with all the determination a one-year-old can muster. It is hard with the snow and Pip often slips and falls. Right now they are two little shapes in snow gear off in the distance at the edge of the field, where the old garden used to be. It is a drizzly, windy, morning and strangely warm for the second day of a new year.
Now the boys have decided they want to come inside. I help them strip out of their winter clothes in the kitchen by the wood stove. As Tadhg pulls off his snow pants he glances up, savoring that fresh warmth of coming inside from a blustery day and says, “I love our nice warm house.” He has many of the faults common to a two-year-old, but he is an example to me of how it is good to live in the moment with gratefulness and awareness of the present.
The dawn of January is the time when plans are made for the coming year, where hope and expectation give rise to words and resolution. We welcomed our third child into the world on December 22nd, a snuggly little girl, so our household enters the new year with three children under the age of three. In this place of life a sober resolution would be, “Survive the year ahead.” The reality of caring for three little ones does not leave room for grand ambitions, much less little plans or even keeping the house clean.
There is something to be said for entering the year without expectation, opening hands to receive whatever may come and learning to see and live the life that has been given in this present moment. To live well with little ones is a great accomplishment and worthy goal. But there is also something to be said for the days of small things, the little time carved out for the steady perseverance of intention toward something more than another day survived. Beyond living well with my family in thought and deed, my hope for the new year is writing. No goal of books completed, or anything so grand. Such things are dreams, beyond the scope of life in this present season. Just the intention to write a little each week is a reach enough.
In the course of writing this I rescued Pip out of the snow, helped set up a toy road system on the kitchen floor, mediated fights, changed a diaper, and watched boys fly their own imagined paper airplanes around the kitchen.
If I manage a bit of writing each week this year, I will have done well.