Sutton informed me this afternoon that he and Jude do, in fact, have superpowers. I didn't doubt him for a second because I know I would not have made it through a year that could have destroyed me if it weren't for the superhuman abilities those two little boys have to crawl into my heart and repair all the cut and bleeding corners. The tools of their trade are a giddiness and penchant for living in the here and now--both traits flowing through their Lake blood.
Truth is, I feel like we have all been given superpowers. They have been on loan and it seems as if the contract is about to expire and we must now give them back. What is it about today being the first anniversary of Kyle's death that seems like the end of something? The numbness associated with the initial blow has pretty much subsided and we must now walk forward into a world that has slowly become, more or less, normal.
This normalcy is the thing I have both feared and longed for some time now. It can be quite depressing when I think that a life in which my closest friend is dead is now normal. But there is also healing in the routines of life that have now settled into my weeks.
Today, after picking the superheroes up from school, we came to my house and played with Jane for a bit. Actually, Jane and I played while the boys ate their snacks perched atop the table on the back porch, safely away from Jane's hyper-unpredictability. We then went and had a second snack (don't tell their mother) of sno-cones. After that I took them to Barnes and Noble, where they typically want to run and hide or play. Today, however, they were content with just sitting next to me as I read from the super-elaborate Robert Sabuda's pop-up books.
I parked at the Compass so we'd have to walk a little further, and therefore get them a little more tired, than if we'd parked closer. On the way back to the car I had one superhero to my left and one to my right, both holding my hands to cross the street. The impending sundown was beautiful, assisted by the hint of a cool wind. I told them both how they may just be the coolest kids in all of North OR South America. (Sutton learned his first two continents today, and was talking about them all afternoon.) I thought to myself how beautiful this moment was, but how this shouldn't be how it is. But it is how it is, and we make do with what we've been given.
Driving up to their house, we noticed a street full of cars and a crowd mingling in the front yard. Kyle and Jen's Supper Club friends had brought over a tree to be planted in honor of Kyle. As I was unloading my car of the boys school stuff I laughed at a funny story I heard recently about a congregation whose fundamentalist pastor assured them the apocalypse was close at hand. They were all frightened until they saw him in his yard the next morning planting a tree.
Sutton and Jude still have their superpowers, and I pray they keep them as long as they need them. But for us mere mortals, how do we move forward from this day? We revel in the beauty in a pop-up book. We find ourselves laughing hysterically at the myriad of colors painted on our tongues by a sno-cone shared in the company of friends. And above all else, we plant trees and stand together throughout the years, watching their slow movement toward Heaven, and celebrating moments like this when Heaven has found a way to move toward us.