Tuesday, April 12, 2011

walking on thin ice, where boys will be men

There is a side to Colby many don’t get to see and it isn’t his backside.  Stick around this house long enough you will see that part of him, probably others too.  The side I’m thinking about is the man on the edge of a frozen pond holding a sled in one hand, in the other a small child.  It’s winter and it’s New Hampshire.  Despite his best efforts to convince me things can freeze solid and trees explode from doing so, I will not join him on the ice.  He moves out across the small pond stomping his boot every few feet for my benefit. 

Even with our child in his arms I will tell you the relationship is new.  He obviously still thinks logic can persuade me to walk on water, not this desert rat you crazy hippie.
The two kids we have with us are young, dressed like little marshmallow puffs with boots.  I watch them play on the ice for about 45 minutes gliding, falling, & getting back up.  Frosty butts & frozen toes.  We strip them down, wrap them in blankets, and tuck them into the warm car where they both fall asleep.

This is before we bought a farm.  Before mornings started with wandering poultry in the kitchen because the dog let them in the back door & nights ended with the turkeys falling off the roof in wind storms.  Before bumper crops of lettuce, fields of thistle, and tumbling fences.  Before a lot of things.   

“I want you to see something.”  He said offering out his hand.  The big rough hand of the man I love.  I take it.  He lovingly puts his hat on my head & leads me back to the ponds edge.  “I want you to see the view from the middle.”
“Yeah that’s not happening.” I laugh.
“Will you ever be able to believe in anything?” He asks the girl who burns her finger every morning sticking it in the coffee while pouring from the pot to make sure it is actually hot. The sadness in his voice is for me, the anger is not.
“No, is that a problem?”
He laughs kissing me and takes off running across the ice, the landscape of his New England childhood.  From far away he is just a boy sliding on the ice in winter. 

“Did you know the Great Salt Lake is so salty, you just float in it?”  I yell out to him.
“I’ve heard that, but I’ve never tried it.” He calls back returning to shore. “When I’m in water I sink like a stone.  I would love to float! Let's go when we get back.”  That is the side right there.  A man who says he sinks but believes he will float even though he never has before.       

Sometimes that is the part of him I would like to send to live with the chickens or trade for something less perplexing like a goat.  But mostly that is the part that makes us work.  After all it is his belief in the improvable which allows him to believe in me.  We all know just how ridiculous of an idea that is, I mean come on exploding trees? I'll believe it when I see it...   

1 comment:

  1. It's so enlightening to see my brother through someone elses' head. Perspective comes from a place outside your own.