in an instant i glimpsed the future. as he helped each boy lift the drill and steady their tiny hands. i saw the dude's hands growing, morphing into mitts the size of daddy's. i heard a teenage unicorn's unfamiliar voice as he asked for his turn next. saw the three of them huddled together over the construction of a nearly finished half-pipe. felt a little left out. felt the tug, the heartache of letting go. and just then, the dude---proud, so proud of himself---looked up at me, his little face hungrily awaiting my approval and anticipating the reflection of his joy to shine from my own face. and just like that, the ache lifted and i knew. they will always look to me, our connections somehow reflexive. their hands will grow and change with their hearts and minds, into complete man-sized vessels of possibility. and as they do, i will be there and be as i should, having endured the slow and bold transformation as well. they can only outgrow me if i stop growing along with them. my boys, my dear sweet boys, now i know and i will continue to savor every moment of this motherhood, the one i am loving right now. because this tender phase is short lived for them, and as it fades into their histories i'll have to shed that skin as well. so for now, i will bask in it's holy heat and try my best to build the base for something solid and forever. and i will succeed.