All Things Written

All The Things I Want To Tell You

Missing You

Sometimes I hold resentment for the way life effortlessly goes on. There’s all this living taking place without you and it seems erroneous the way you’re not here, and still there’s all this sustenance.

Life may go on but your life added so much to mine that now mine seems only partial, only slightly alive. And it’s painful, living slightly alive. There’s no outward wounds for patching up and that seems to be the most cruel of all, because it needs attention, the way my stomach leaks in fragments from every time I agonized over you, torn in secret. It’s helpless the way I miss you in the quiet, when people are around, when life goes on. I miss you passed the breakdowns and past the shoulders to cry on. I miss you constantly to the point of embarrassment. I miss you past the “I’m so sorry,” and past memories. I miss you without even thinking, with my whole body, so much so that the vastness of it all created a limp.

And then I’m sorry for missing you like that. With so much doubt. The lack of trust creating a sort of paralysis. Can you feel it? My agony tearing at you? A life dependent on one that is past or above? Rest easy and forgive me. I’ll miss you always. But I’m told life goes on, past here, past this, past always.

Aubrey Lozano Cofield

When You Imagine

Today it rained and you told me the clouds were crying. I love that about you, you’re ability to imagine. I hope that stays with you always, till you’re grown, till you’re so grown you’ve seen it all, felt it all, and still have the openness to dream up a new story.

It Needs YOU

Like a puzzle piece it needs your spirit.

It needs your specific soul and the qualities that make you singular and part of something.

It needs your sense of humor and the way you see the world.

You fit, like a puzzle piece, you fit.

Because it needs the way you were made.

The way you stand out and the way you contribute.

Life needs YOU.

Build a Mountain or a Small Hill

There’s cracks on our hands from all the shoveling of dry dirt. Our hands scoop and turnover the earth. And we laugh at our dirt manicures.

Why are we digging?

Because standing idle spooks the hair on our backs. So we dig, and we dig, and we dig until we dig a whole deep enough to lay.

But we could’ve built a mountain, or at the very least, a small hill.

To My Boys, Who Will Be Men

The truth is, as a mother, I do hold certain expectations for you. No, not for your profession or even the grades you get in school. No, my expectations are for your character.

Stepping into my imagination you’ll see a version of yourself. A possible, hopeful, outcome of the type of man you’ll grow in to. The occupation varies, as does most every little detail, but there’s one constant, in short, you are a good man. In no way perfect, but good.

I’ve never made excuses for you, so you don’t make them for yourself. You learn from each mistake and move forward learning from life’s scattered misfortunes. You’re a man who brings up your partner, children, and friends. A man who respects every life and does not deem his more valuable then another. A man who listens. A man who feels emotion without shame. But also, a man who can exude courage, not living void of fear, but standing up in spite of it. A man who can discern between the things that strengthen his spirit and the things that shatter it. A man who, above all else, abundantly loves.

This variant of you is not unattainable, but there will be moments you feel far from it, like you’ve strayed so far from who you are, and what you know. Please know that’s ok, please know it’s never too late to make the right choice, and that I’m always here, to remind you of this boy I know.

The Lesson From The Lie

Your zigzag smile, wondering eyes, and peculiar growl you let out gave away your white lie.

“Did you pee in your pants?” I asked half wanting to laugh at that strange growl you kept giving, an early sign of your performance skills.

“No mommy, grrrrrrrrr,” you uttered quickly following.

“Why are you lying to me?” I asked, not sure what answer I was expecting, you were so young and surely didn’t know why anyone, much less yourself, lied.

But you answered with tears welling up in your eyes, “I don’t know mommy, I’m sorry.” Irritated at the lie, I yelled “go to your room!” I’m sorry I did that. I was so young but so were you, and you were sorry.

I sat on the couch replaying my actions. It was quite possible my actions had nothing to do with your lie. I was stressed from this or that and my conscious overreacted. Then, like from a bee sting, my body jumped off the couch and I ran upstairs to your room and found you crying on your bed. I slowly walked towards you, scooped you up and told you, “it’s ok to make mistakes, we all do, even mommy does. What matters is what we do after. You said you’re sorry and I forgive you. I’m learning too.”

Then I uttered something that in the moment I had no idea you needed to hear. “You know, I love you even when I’m mad at you. Even when your acting crazy, even when you make mistakes, over anything, I will always love you no matter what,” I said with such swiftness.

You looked at me with your puffy eyes stunned at the words I just uttered. “You love me even when I don’t do the right thing?” you said, now smirking. And the most obvious simplest notion occurred to me, most of the lessons you take with you through life will be uttered to you from me or your father, so we better share our knowledge more often, and we too should also continue learning, if only to make sure your growth never stops.

The Moment You Said Yes

We moved in with you and Nanny just two weeks before your 3rd birthday. Part of us knew moving meant stepping into parenthood, but the lines were so blurred. We didn’t quite know where to start. For the first few weeks we just spent as much time with you as we could. We took you places, played with you, spent evenings watching shows, or taking walks around the neighborhood; and then Nanny would usually tuck you in for bedtime, just like she’d been doing for almost two years.

After a month of getting used to life together, we knew the hard questions needed answers. Would we become mom and dad? Or just devoted Aunt and Uncle?

We sat around the kitchen table after you went to bed. All of us tired from the day, but thinking deeply about you and the direction your life was about to take.

“I don’t want him to feel like I’m abandoning him,” Nanny said in a woeful tone, “but he deserves a mom and a dad. And how am I going to raise a teenager 10 years from now?”

The discussion continued for the next hour, my heart speeding around my chest and down to my stomach. You can never fully prepare for the moment you find out you’re going to be a parent. Silence took up a large part of the space that night, silence and pondering. And then just like that, after moments of hard discussion, we floated over the details, and the discussion stopped. “I want you to know that we love him deeply,” I said, looking up at Nanny. “We’ll take care of him.” Then your father spoke, “we’re going to do it, we’re going to adopt him.” We all looked at each-other smiling… with just a small trace of panic.

Suddenly, parenthood stood there, in front of us, interrogating us, demanding answers, and mocking us; mostly, at the intense brewing of our plans.

We took it one day at a time, watching our plans crumble, almost every single one of them, but falling in love with you, with your funny personality and kind demeanor. So much of it was hard, but God sent me answers through your smile, and the way you accepted me so freely, without condition, into your life.

I remember taking you to the local Japanese Tea Gardens. I wanted to ask you if it was ok with you that I became your mom. You were so little, but you already had such a strong personality, I needed to know you were ok with it too. We were looking down at what you called “big spotted cutie fishes” when I said, “Jaxson, would you like it if I became your mommy?” You looked at me, chuckled a little, and with a big smile, you said “yes.” At that point you were my son and I was your mother, the rest we’d figure out as we go.

The Link Between Plants and You

I love the aesthetic look of plants scattered throughout a well-lit home, but I’ve never been good at creating an environment where my plants thrive. They usually end up wilted in the shadows, thirsty. I assure you my intentions are always good, I’ve visualized the growing potential of every plant I’ve owned. But it seems they don’t thrive on my once a month (if I remember) watering schedule. 

I looked at my faded snake plant sitting near my bookshelf with still only four leaves, not dying yet, but certainly not thriving. My guilt prompted me to start my research on how to help my plant thrive. You see, you first have to recognize that each type of plant is unique. One may need to be watered every day, while the other could go a few days or weeks without needing water. My snake plant, if taken care of properly, acts as a natural air purifier. It doesn’t need too much water and does best when not in direct sunlight. Don’t over water it, and when you do water it, try not to get water on the leaves. I found a snake plant will survive in many different conditions, but it will only thrive if taken care with attention to its’ specific needs. 

I feel like there’s so much metaphoric meaning here. Like what if we understood children this way? Helping them grow through first understanding them, listening to them, figuring out where their strengths and weakness lie? It seems only then can we understand the ways in which they’ll thrive. 

Returning to Texas

Returning to Texas brought warmth in every aspect. We saw you frequently since the move whether over Facetime or our yearly visits, but my heart sprung at the idea of waking up to you again.

We returned in March, nearly two and a half years after we first left. It was the tail-end of winter in Pittsburgh and the beginning of spring in Texas, when bluebonnets covered fields and patches of grass along the highway.

We were moving into a season of trial, though I couldn’t comprehend this at the time. We knew it meant moving into the house where you were growing up with Nanny. We knew it meant big change and having you with us more often, but we still hadn’t discussed the reality of us adopting you. It was unclear what role we’d take. Would we commit to super devoted Aunt and Uncle? Or would we fully take on the role of mom and dad? And what does this mean for you and Nanny?

This wasn’t a decision we could make on our own. This was up to your Nanny, the one who currently held custody of you, it was up to us, but also, it was up to you. After the initial move, when we settled into our room, 75% of our stuff in a storage unit down the street, we began to unravel the questions.   

Aubrey Cofield

Moving On

Written for my sister. This is a letter to her first love. 

Letting you go creates a pain grabbing at my stomach, returning me to the first time we spoke.

I moved to Albuquerque in August just before starting my freshman year of high-school. I entered high-school leaving my Dora Explorer look behind and adopting a more sophisticated… well let’s just face it, I probably still closely resembled Dora. But you noticed me when I thought so little of myself.  You resembled everything I loved in a boy. Tall, handsome, funny, and interested in me. I noticed the way people gravitated towards you. You made them feel significant in a setting where most felt worthless. I held you in high regard, and for the first time put a boy on a pedestal.

I love you for the way you fall in love with everyone you meet, but I also despise it. You repeatedly find solace in things and people that hurt you. The momentary high drives you. I see the amazing you and I hold on to that for the night. But I’m tired of disappointing each-other the next day. Holding our worth in each-other only to find we’re significantly flawed. It’s a rollercoaster where the high feels like forever, but the drop in your stomach, as everything plummets, reminds you no one can sustain you forever. I’ll never regret loving you, because through it I learned the importance that comes with loving myself.

Suddenly you’re worth and motivation was held up in all the ways I loved you. I convinced myself I needed to be all those things for you. But I’m only human and at 18 I’m certain I don’t know it all. I’m certain I have a lot of growing to do. I’m certain our current foundation will crumble.

I don’t want to find myself consumed with our arguments anymore. I don’t want to make each-other sad another second. I want growth. With all the cheesiness I can muster, I hope you find God. I hope you find him in all the places you feel empty. I hope you ask hard questions, and I hope you find answers. Don’t settle for anything that doesn’t nourish your soul. I’m setting out on an adventure; to ask all the questions, visit all the places, talk to all the people, and meet myself at the end. I don’t know what the future holds for us. But I’m confident we’ll be ok. You’re not alone. I believe God loves you regardless of what you do, but through understanding your purpose in him comes this natural maturing and love for yourself. Whatever you do, wherever we find ourselves years from now, whether traveling on a boat together (like we planned), or meeting again after years apart only to find we’ve both found “The One”, I hope we can laugh together at the fickle plans we made at 18.

-Aubrey Cofield

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