Thursday, July 19, 2018
That is the only halfway decent picture I got today which didn't have a naked child in it.
Oh. Wait. That doll child is naked. But her modesty is preserved by the way Maggie put her in the car seat.
I do have one perfectly darling picture of Magnolia in which although she is naked, nothing really shows that a diaper would hide but I feel that's it's disrespectful to my grandchild to post it since she has no say in the matter so I won't but trust me- she is beautiful.
It's been a frustrating day with the continuing saga of the headphones and also with other technological blah-blah but I'm trying to keep it all in perspective and not get overly riled although I will tell you what did overly rile me today. I was in the parking lot of Costco, getting out of my car when an elderly man with a cane and a fucking bright red MAGA cap perched on his head approached me to brag about what great gas milage he gets in his Prius. I am currently driving a Prius too and when he asked me what my milage was, I told him I had no idea. Which I don't. But mostly I didn't want to talk to the self-entitled, smug-looking old man or his damn perky wife either who joined us to say that she, too, had a Prius. They had TWO Priuses! And now they're spending the money at Costco on what they've saved on gas! How cool!
And here's the part that's troubling- I not only did not want to talk to them, I sincerely wanted to punch the guy in the face and watch that evil piece of shit hat fall off his head and if he fell down after I punched him, that would have been fine too.
That's how far this whole thing has gone with me. And I am not a violent person. I have never punched anyone in my life. I've barely hit anyone in my life. But the image of me punching that guy would not leave me. I had no desire to engage him in any conversation to try and learn something about him and why he might be a Trump supporter. None.
Just the fact that he was bragging with that hat that he WAS a Trump supporter made me feel in my gut that not only did we have nothing in common, even if we both drive a Prius, but that everything I believe in is something he disdains and everything the hat that he was wearing symbolized to me is what I abhor.
No common ground.
Not one millimeter of common ground.
And that's scary as fucking hell because if I can feel this way, if I, the pacifist, hippie, tree-hugging grandmother, has an almost overwhelming urge to commit violence upon the elderly, then we've reached a point in our society that I never thought I'd see.
So I've been thinking about that a lot today and I don't feel good about it at all. I wasn't rude to the man or to his wife but disengaged conversation as quickly as possible and made my way into the store where I did not see them again.
While I was there I bought yet another headset because the one I bought yesterday sounded as if I was listening through tin cans and it kept dropping connection.
I probably could have adjusted to the sound eventually but the connection dropping was a deal-breaker. So I got a set of Beats today and their sound is fine and they seem to have excellent connection but they are earbuds without the over-ear loop thing and they will not stay in my ears and that is that. My ears are not made for earbuds.
Period. The end.
I tried all the different sizes that came with them and also the little wing-things that nestle up in your ear and it didn't matter; nothing worked.
Tomorrow's to-do list: Return TWO sets of wireless earphones.
Part of the problem is that I was so very, very happy with the first set I bought. The sound was good, the little things stayed in my ears with the over-the-ear loop, the controls were easy, the battery lasted for eight hours, the strap that held them together was soft and just the right length, and I loved the voice that told me, "Power on. Headset connected. Listening time, eight hours."
She was so pleasant.
But. They fucking fell apart after three months use and the second pair I bought came out of the box with one defective side. This is not good quality.
But I'm thinking I'm going to just go for another pair of them anyway.
This is all so ridiculous.
So Owen and Gibson and Maggie came over this afternoon and I set aside my stupid silly problems for awhile and although we didn't do much, it was pleasant. I will admit that I didn't have much patience and did actually yell at Gibson once when he and Maggie were in the bathtub (recreational water play) and he splashed me and I asked him not to splash me again and then he splashed me again immediately.
I apologized. And told all the kids that they needed to be nice to me today because I didn't have much patience. I've so rarely raised my voice to them that they were probably shocked but they need to remember that I'm human too, I guess.
I don't know.
I don't know shit.
Owen was sweet and let me show him some sixty-four year old Rolling Stones videos on the TV Youtube and a video from a concert of theirs last month, too.
"How does he make his legs do that?" he asked when he saw a young Mick doing the crazy-leg that he no doubt stole from James Brown. He was impressed while watching the new video that they were still doing it and still looking pretty good, especially when I told him that Mick Jagger was a great-grandfather and that he also has a two-year old child.
As well he should be.
But he was most impressed when I figured out (with Boppy's help via telephone) how to activate the Wii.
To be honest, I was pretty impressed with myself too.
So that's that. Maggie ate four Popsicles because she figured out how to get them herself out of the freezer and did so every time my back was turned. She played with her babies and with other toys and made me some macaroni which again involved a Fisher Price truck in a saucepan. She and I also had a nice time on the porch swing, swinging back and forth and making a little breeze which ruffled her curls, and singing songs together.
It wasn't my best afternoon as a grandmother but I tried. And I gave them good snacks, the Popsicles included which were, in fact, organic sorbet on a stick so good for me. And good for them.
Mr. Moon is going to go fishing again tomorrow and guess what I'll be doing?
Yeah. Going back to Best Buy. And Costco.
But I tell you what- I'm going to be trying any new headset I buy in the parking lot before I leave so that if there's any major problem, I can just turn right around and go back to Customer Service.
I'm old and have no shame and I've run out of patience, obviously. I'm not so old that I couldn't have punched that old man in the face.
What in hell is wrong with me?
What in hell is wrong with our country?
Again- I do not know.
I don't know shit.
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
There's Ms. Magnolia June in her mermaid dress which I finally got to Lily when I went to Publix to return the drugs which were not mine. This turned out to be somewhat of a cluster fuck. Not the dress or seeing Lily but the drug situation. Not a real big deal but there was even a subsequent phone call later to clear up a few points.
The whole day has been sort of like that but I actually got a few things done that I've been putting off like getting my oil changed and finally getting some help so I can go online to check my bank balance which should be the simplest thing in the world and actually was and it would appear that I'd been on the wrong page of the web site and oh, Jesus. Really? Really?
And of course the ten-year old chick who helped me made me feel as if I needed to reserve my bed at the nursing home post haste, mostly because we were using a business-owned desktop computer with a MOUSE and I haven't used a mouse in at least seven years and I wanted to tell her that I have a Mac laptop and I pity her for having to use such clunky technology and that before she was born I got my first computer and with nothing but that and a copy of Macs For Dummies, I figured out how to make things work and even get on the World Wide Web which is what we called it then, but of course I did not and instead sucked in my senior citizen anger-shame and smiled and thanked her profusely.
Just now I tried to change the account number for our automatic payment to the electric company via their website which seemed to be so fraught with crap I was required to fill out that I said, "Fuck that," and then I called the toll-free number where of course I just got an automatonic voice telling me to press this and press that until it reached the point where it advised me that to finish I had to go to the website.
Which I had just left.
Oh, dear fuck.
Anyway, blah, blah, blah and I exchanged my bluetooth headset out for another which seems to be okay but the sound sucks. I did get to see the nice woman who helped me yesterday. I swear- I feel like she and I could be really good friends. If I have to go back to Best Buy one more time I'm sure we'll be scheduling coffee dates and discussing our love lives.
And then I went to McDonald's to get an iced tea because I really wanted an iced tea and boy, has McDonald's changed and not for the better! The place was a pig sty and unlike when I worked at McDonald's back when the burgers were made of ground dinosaur meat and we had to add everything up on an order pad with a pencil, there was no one manning (or womanning) the order station and there were computer order stations and everyone in the back seemed completely confused and people were waiting for what appeared to be many long minutes to get their food and I was there long enough to have an extended conversation with a woman who'd ordered in the drive through and had only gotten half her order. She worked at McDonald's when she was young too and we both hate the traffic in Tallahassee and she has religion and I don't which didn't seem to affect our blooming friendship in the least. When she got the rest of her order and was leaving (and I was still standing there, waiting to pay for a fucking cup to self-serve myself some tea) she said, "Nice to meet you!" and I said, "Nice to meet YOU!"
But hey- the unsweetened iced tea was perfect.
So there is that.
And that's what my day has been like. Go here, do this, go there, do that.
Take the trash and recycle, water the porch plants, check for eggs.
There were none.
I've changed my mind about the gender of Apricot again because this afternoon she stood up on an old rusty porch glider in the back yard and bawked and cackled like a hen who'd just laid an egg for a good five minutes. I've never heard a rooster talk that talk.
Now if she'll just start actually laying eggs, I'll be so happy.
Just got another picture of Maggie.
Somehow this makes me feel a little better about everything.
Her generation is going to save the world and they're going to look very, very good while they're doing it. At least if they get the chance.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Ms. Rachel had never been to the Wacissa and Hank hadn't been swimming all summer so we made a pilgrimage to the river this morning and it was one of my favorite trips there ever. I'm not sure why but everyone was just so sweet and chill and the children were well-behaved and loving and happy and Rachel brought her best friend and I'd never met her and she was darling and no yellow flies bit me and there weren't gangs of teens and no one was playing music for the benefit of all and it wasn't too hot and well, it was delightful.
Look at that water. Look at that precious baby girl.
Gibson! Looking for fish. Lily took those two pictures.
Just pretty. Owen, Rachel, and Hank.
Levon getting suited up. He loved it!
Rachel took this one. My skinny boy, stretched out in the sun like a starfish, warming up. He shivers in that cold water but he doesn't seem to care.
The river truly had its way with me today. I had woken up the way I've been waking up lately which is in a state of what I can only really describe as despair. There are elements of both anxiety and depression in it but it's got a different flavor to it and I feel as if there is nothing to look forward to except for more pain and future illness and the absolute certainty of death.
It doesn't feel good.
But after I'd been at the river for a few hours I felt calm and I felt very present and I felt no need to future-fear or to look back in regret. It was wonderful but I knew I had to get home and get dressed and go to town to run a few errands.
I didn't mention this but a few days ago my wireless headphones sort of fell apart and I really can't function without my books being read into my ears at all times. Mr. Moon had returned them to Costco where I'd bought them and they gladly gave him back full payment but they had no more like the ones I'd bought for exchange purposes to I had to go to Best Buy and I needed to go to Publix too.
The lady who helped me at Best Buy was just absolutely terrific and I picked out another set of blue tooth headphones and felt so cheerful. My river mood was still upon me and even when I went into the library to drop off some books and get a few more and it began to squall like a hurricane and I got soaked getting to my car I did not lose my lotus flower (as Lis might say) and Publix was fine and I got home only to discover that
(A) The left earbud on my brand new, out of the box headphones has no volume at all and,
(B) Publix had sent me home with two prescriptions for someone whose name is rather remarkably like mine but is not mine.
This has served to dampen my spirits somewhat I will admit as this all adds up to yet another trip to town.
Well, life goes on even with first world problems which don't amount to a hill of beans and speaking of beans, this cheered me considerably:
My first picking of the black-eyed peas. I shelled one for you so that you can see the green goodness of a fresh, out of the pod, black-eyed pea.
Oh, y'all. That's good stuff, right there.
The okra are getting tall but have not yet put out their hibiscus-like flowers, I'm still getting eggplant, I will definitely not be making cucumber pickles this year, and I'm not expecting much more squash and I never have gotten enough tomatoes to talk about.
Anything I get from the garden is pure goodness and I am grateful for it.
Before I sign off, let me just mention Trailer Park Boys again. It's a Canadian mockumentary which has become popular all over the world and for good reason. Mr. Moon and I have been watching an episode or two every night for what now seems most of our lives and I have decided that this show is absolute genius. Its themes and story lines are ridiculously simple and there's more profanity in it than anything you've probably ever seen before and yeah, it's sort of sexist and probably every other sort of "-ist", and the weed and alcohol use are through the roof and also, there is crime and no obviously redeeming qualities anywhere and oh my god. At this point, I can hardly imagine life without my Ricky, Bubbles, and Julian.
We're on Season 10 wherein Snoop Dogg gets involved and as you may know, I adore Snoop Dogg which only makes everything even more bizarre and incredible and well, watch it or don't. It's not for everyone.
I see and hear that Mr. Moon has gotten the mower going which is good because the grass is so long that the chickens are getting lost in it. I need to start supper, as usual.
Be well, y'all. Go find a river. Get in it and cool off, get out and eat some snacks, get back in the water and cool off again, repeat as necessary until a feeling of well-being overwhelms you and you can face the world once more.
I may need to move to the river but that's a story for another day and in the meantime, I'll just keep visiting it and taking my meds.
Monday, July 16, 2018
Terrible picture and I apologize to Miss Dixie for cutting her head off but I took it on the fly this morning. Those two hens did not show up last night in the hen house and I was pretty darn depressed. But I always say the same thing which is, "Well, let's see what we see in the morning," and what I saw this morning around 9:30 was Dixie and Nicey scratching out in front of the hen house looking absolutely fit and fine.
I was so relieved.
I went out to see them and they ran up to me as if they were starving and also, as if to say, "Hey! Where you been?"
Excuse me? I wanted to ask them where they'd been, where they'd spent the night, and why they didn't come home to roost.
Maybe they're having some sort of kerfluffle with some of the other hens. Who knows?
So. Been quite a day, huh?
Think this will be the end of Trump?
I mean, he stopped just short of pinning a huge sign to the front of his huge jacket saying, "Yes, there is a pee tape and yes, I owe the Russians millions of dollars and yes, I am guilty as sin of everything I've been accused of and yes, I've sucked Vlad's dick and yes, I liked it."
No collusion. The Hillary e-mails. Her server. Etc., etc., etc.
Doesn't believe what every investigative branch of the US government has uncovered but believes Putin.
What. A. Dick.
Who basically has the fate of the world in his hands but hey! Don't worry! He talks to Sean Hannity an hour a day and with an advisor like that, all will be well. There, there. Don't worry. All will be well.
I like how he kept checking his notes to be sure of the wording of what he needed to say which is so absolutely not Donald Trump's usual style of bluster and blathering moronic off-the-cuff word salads although there were some of those too. I thought he didn't need no stinking notes.
He looked mighty nervous, too, didn't he?
Well, anyway. Let us see where the fall-out leaves us.
I myself took a walk that just about killed me. It's so hot and humid that you can't believe it. Anyway, I did it, la-di-dah, and now I'm walking like a ten thousand year old woman.
The only other thing I did outside today was to clean out the poopy hay and replace it with fresh in the hen house.
I did a lot of ironing while watching Queer Eye on Netflix which made me cry so much at certain points that I'm surprised I didn't try to iron my arm instead of the shirts I was working on. I certainly have enough wrinkles on my arm to justify a good pressing.
And I guess that's the news from Lloyd although I did find an imagine online of what I imagine August's small car to look like.
That's it! Exactly! Only without the flags, probably. Since it's just a funny cartoon image in my head I am allowed to imagine the small boy driving down Tennessee Street in Tallahassee with giant trucks and SUV's all around him, beeping the small horn in his small car to alert others to get out of his way because he's on a mission to get to Lloyd! Before his diaper needs changing!
Gotta laugh, people. Gotta laugh.
I sure hope that Dixie and Nicey roost at home tonight. Maybe they were just very, very unhappy with the unsanitary nature of their roost boxes and will be so delighted with the fresh hay that they'll settle in safely with their sisters. And, uh, brothers.
I heard a teen crow for sure this afternoon but when I went to look to see who could have done it, Apricot and Ringo were standing right next to each other and no one was talking. I think that if Apricot is a rooster (and I'm pretty sure he is) I might rename him Liberace because of all those blond feathers. And let me just say that if he IS a rooster, it would help tremendously if he was as gay as Liberace because Mick would probably leave him alone. But would he leave Mick alone? Or Ringo? That might just be trading one problem for a whole different set of them. But the hens could get some fabulous grooming tips and that's always a good thing.
Again. We shall see.
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Oh, man! We had such a good time with this little guy. And I am pretty dang sure that he had a good time too. Anything he does with his Boppy is the very best thing to do. He's sweet though and let's me read books to him and give him his bath and get him ready for bed and all tucked in.
Last night I cooked some of that grouper and some cheese grits and made a lovely salad of volunteer arugula which has sprung up in the garden. It seems to be different from the winter arugula and I'm not sure how that could happen but eating a salad again made with greens just picked is heaven. And we discovered something which is that August can about eat his weight in grouper. Jessie says that when she cooks salmon he eats as much as she and Vergil do and I can believe it now.
He didn't care a thing about his cheese grits or his salad, he just wanted grouper with ketchup. He tried the cocktail sauce I'd made but I think the horseradish put him off and he went back to good ol' plain Heinz. As soon as supper was finished he was ready for his bath and so off we went and it was a water-world-playtime-happiness event. After he got dried off and dressed in his pajamas, we laid on the big guest bed and read all the favorites. The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza, A Fish Out of Water, It's A Book, Hide and Seek On The Farm, Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb and I can't remember what else. The child wants me to tell him what every pictured character in every book is saying. This gets sticky in books like Hand, Hand in that there are about fifty thousand monkeys drumming on drums. Sometimes I just turn the page and pretend I didn't hear him ask what everyone is saying.
After stories he said he wanted to sleep in the big bed and that I could sleep with him. I said, "Okay," but I have to get ready for bed too so I'll be back in just a little while."
He pondered this and decided that he'd just as soon sleep in the pack-n-play. That, too, was fine.
I put him in it and gave him Zippy and covered him up and kissed him but then he said that he'd like me to move his bed into Mer and Bop's room so that he could sleep in there and that he wanted to stay in the bed while we moved it.
"Well," I said, "Let me go ask Boppy if he thinks that's okay and will help me move your bed."
I went to find Boppy and reported this request and he sighed. "What happened to it's bedtime now go to sleep?" Which is so funny because this never worked with our own kids.
Then he sighed again and said, "Okay."
So we went into the guest room and August said, "Boppy say okay." No question mark there.
And his grandfather picked up one end of the bed and I picked up the other and we moved it through the bedroom, Boppy's bathroom, the mudroom, and into our bedroom as he laid under his covers, serious and still as a pharaoh.
After Boppy told him good-night again, he asked me to scoot his bed closer to ours and of course, I did. Why not? I told him I had to go brush my teeth and put on my nightgown and that I'd come back and get in my bed and read my book. That I would be right back.
And I was and he was still awake, but not fussing, just a little talkative and with some questions, mostly concerning when Boppy would be coming to bed.
But eventually, he dropped off and I made sure he was covered up and then Boppy came to bed and we all slept like stones until quarter after eight when Boppy got up and then I got up right after that and August was still sleeping. He finally woke up a little later and called out, "Mer! I can't get out of my bed!" and I went and lifted him high in the air and said, "I can get you out!" and I put him down and he said, "I go find Boppy!" and he pattered off and I thought how the sound of a little child running on the old wood floors of my house is one of my favorite things in the world.
He ate two and a half pancakes with bananas and peaches and blueberries and pecans in them and also, everyone's favorite- bacon.
After the chickens were let out and fed some scraps and an egg was found and there was a little more TV watching and some more book reading, his mama and brother came out to get him.
Levon is going through a stranger-danger phase and he is not sure about letting anyone hold him but his mama and his daddy but he lets Mer hold him. This is probably one of the things that makes me proudest in the world at the moment. He seems completely comfortable with me and I know it's just because I've spent a lot of time with him but still...it feels mighty sweet.
Jessie and I went out to see the chickens and honestly, I am now thinking that my big yellow Buff Orpington, Apricot, is a rooster. He/she is growing some very roostery feathers. Jessie's Buff looks the same so we may have gone bust when we bought that pair of chicks.
This could lead to problems but we'll just have to wait and see what unfolds.
August didn't really want to leave. In fact, he told his mother and me that he would like to have some water and then he would lay down and go to sleep at Mer's which is pretty funny. Was he ready to spend the night again? I think so. But good Lord! Why wouldn't he want to hang out some more? Watching TV, drinking chocolate milk, eating bacon and fried grouper, and getting to work with his Boppy.
Here they are, sanding together, prepping for painting.
But he didn't fuss too much about leaving.
When he kissed and hugged his grandfather good-bye, Boppy asked him if he'd come back and spend the night again soon.
"YES!!!!" he shouted as he ran through the house, his arms raised high in the air.
Next, though, it will be Owen and Gibson's turn to spend the night and more adventures will be had.
And I can absolutely guarantee that The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza and A Fish Out of Water will both be read before bed.
Rituals are important and that's another great thing about grandparents- they honor those rituals and they enthusiastically embrace them.
And just think- before we know it, Levon will be spending the night and there's going to come a day when Owen wants to sleep upstairs in his own bed in a space that he will make all his own.
And that will be cool too.
Italian eggplant parmesan for supper, time spent with a grandchild, a rainy afternoon nap with my husband and the Sunday blues forgot to make their appearance.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
I am constantly amazed at how beautifully iridescent the feathers on the two black jungle fowl are. Vera and Viv. As far as I can see, they're identical twins and I can't possibly tell them apart. But look at those greens and blues! I mean- Lord! They are like subtle peacocks if you just take the time to look. Every morning when I open the door to the hen house and throw scratch for them, I like to just stand and watch all of the chooks for a few minutes. They delight me in so many ways. The hen behind them that you can only see a small part of is my barred rock, Babette. She's a handsome thing. As they all are.
I finally got into the garden and did a little weeding today. It was somehow incredibly satisfying despite the fact that I was dripping sweat and I mean literally dripping. I worked for perhaps an hour and then came in and cooled off and went back out later when there was a bit of cloud covering. It thundered off in the distance and I urged the rain on in my mind but it never came. Just the same heat and the same humidity and I sweated some more. By the time I came in from that I was soaked and dirty and had a few ant bites but I got the black-eyed peas weeded and the eggplant and a few of the tomatoes and now I've had a shower which set me right again.
August is here now to spend the night and Jessie said that when she told him he was coming he was so excited and he said that he was going to get a small car and drive here himself. Not a "little" car but a small one. For some reason this just charms me. I suppose it's because of the visual image I have of tiny August with his golden crazy hair sitting in a small convertible and making his way from Tallahassee to Lloyd. This reminds me of the time that Owen got mad because his mama wouldn't bring him to see us and he said that he would just walk here. The image I have there is of a very young Owen with a hobo bundle over his shoulder, pulling a wagon with a baby Gibson in it.
Determined grandsons I have!
Here is what's going on right now.
Big Boppy and Little Boppy, sitting in the recliner with a bowl of popcorn as big as August is, watching Moana. I also gave the boy a cup of chocolate milk because I know he loves it so much. Yes, grandparents are allowed to spoil their grands. It is in the handbook. Of course, I would never give a grandchild anything that his or her parents truly forbade and I would not let them do anything dangerous or crazy no matter how much they begged but a little chocolate milk and some TV with Grandfather never hurt anyone.
I think that what we call spoiling our grandchildren is mostly about simply focusting on them and doing stuff with them, untied to the everyday chores of life for the most part. While they are here, it's all about them and who doesn't love that?
The chickens are running to the hen house to roost. It is time according to their mysterious and wise internal clocks. They go to bed just as the nighttime predators are waking up and rubbing their empty bellies with paws and wings and making their dining plans for the night.
Maurice is napping on the table where I am writing this, preparing for another night of sleep. She's still coming to our bed at night to cuddle with me and I am still appreciating it. I do not know how she and Jack have worked this out but he's taken her place in the kitchen to sleep and she's taken his in the bed.
I suppose Maurice had some stern words with him that he took to heart.
And so it goes and so it is and I'm going to cook us some very fresh fish tonight and I hope that August likes it. Mr. Moon did indeed get to keep his grouper as well as some Vermillion Snapper which I have never personally seen or cooked and we will be enjoying all of it so much. I will do my best to honor it, which is what I say whenever I cook something that Mr. Moon has brought home from the woods or the water. I try to honor what we grow and what the hens lay us as well. It's not just a matter of good cooking, it is also a matter of respect and gratitude and I mean that with all of my heart.
May we all sleep well and deeply tonight, including August. I keep asking him if he wants to sleep in the big bed in the guest room instead of the pack-n-play which is becoming a little small for him but no, the pack-n-play is his bed and that is that. I won't tell him that Maggie feels the same about it.
It is August's when he is here and it is Maggie's when she is here and that is the way it is.
Again, these things are in the grandparent's handbook which is locked away in our hearts until that first grandbaby is born.
Friday, July 13, 2018
I think that August would be completely happy to be read to all day long. So we read lots and lots of books and Levon played on the floor or sat in my lap and then took a nap.
Here's how to get Levon to take a nap: when he seems to start getting sleepy, hold him and give him a pacifier if you want and then put him in his little swing and he is asleep.
You will note that he is holding a spoon. Throughout the entire morning I'd give him a bite of oatmeal every so often and let him hold the spoon and he was loathe to let it go. As May said when I sent her this picture, "Don't want to lose your spoon. You never know when there might be more oatmeal."
He's simply a happy guy.
He's a I-can't-help-but-kiss-him baby.
Well. To be honest, most babies fit into that category for me.
August tried out some different names for me today. He's called me "Merm" before and he called me that a few times today. He also called me "Mary." I think he's just realizing that I, like his Boppy, have names which other people call us.
And he can call me Mary if he wants to. I've always loved my name. I'm not sure why but I do.
Hey! If if was good enough for the mother of Jesus, it's good enough for me, right?
He did a few entertaining hat tricks for my entertainment.
We cuddle-puddled with the big bear. The bear laid on me and August laid on the bear. It was very cozy. He showed me things he's doing in gymnastics class and also, a little yoga. I was quite impressed.
After Jessie got home and I kissed those two little guys good-bye, I met Lily and her three at the Indian buffet where I also had a good time. I was waiting in front of the restaurant and Gibson came running up and slammed me with one of his extra-special, unique and wonderful Gibson-hugs. And then Maggie came running up.
"It MER!" she said to her mother.
Owen dragged behind everyone. He was having a hard day. I think he's already over summer vacation. I can't believe he's almost nine. When I think back on being nine, I feel as if I was already fully formed as an adult. I sort of had to be, living in the situation I was living. It was the year my mother married my stepfather and when my already scary life became far worse than I could have imagined it would. But I remember the feelings I had and how frustrating things were. I remember going into the bathroom and just crying and crying. I was absolutely scared to death to speak out loud about any of the feelings I was having, even before my stepfather began abusing me because my mother was obviously, even to a nine-year old, teetering on the edge of sanity and I suppose I had made a sacred pact with myself not to do anything at all which would push her over the edge. She was all my brother and I had.
And so I was the best little girl in the world.
But Owen has no qualms about expressing how he feels and good for him! But bad for Lily. As all children do, he takes everything out on her, knowing for sure and certain that she is always going to love him. After lunch we went to Big Lots where the boys were thinking about using their saved money to buy a little pool for their yard but none of them were right and they wanted to buy junky toys and Lily said, "NO!" on that and good for her.
Gibson sort of got over it but not Owen. And then we went to the Goodwill bookstore and he wanted this and he wanted that and he didn't want this and he didn't want that and she finally put him in a time-out.
He eventually decided on a book and so did Maggie and Gibson and as our ritual goes, Mer bought them their books and on our way back to where our cars were parked, I told Owen I wanted to talk to him. He didn't really want to, but he did, and we sat down at a table in the shade and I told him that believe it or not, I could remember how it felt to be nine years old and what my feelings felt like and how hard it was. But that I could also remember how it felt to be a mother and how hard that was too.
"Owen," I said, "Your mama is trying so hard to make you happy and you need to try a little harder to make things easier for her. It's the hardest thing in the world to raise a good human being and she is doing her best to raise three."
He listened. I doubt he'll change his behavior but I know he heard me. I said my little piece and we got up and followed Lily and Gibson and Maggie to their car.
"One more thing," I told Owen.
"Yeah?" he said.
"I love you."
"Yeah?" he said.
"I love you."
"I knew you were going to say that!" he told me. And I'm sure he did. In some ways, that child knows me better than anyone on this earth. And he knows I love him and I know he loves me. And it's not my job to get up in his face about things but once in awhile, I think it is all right to give him my perspective.
I love all my grands so much and each one of them needs me in different ways and I can be part of their lives in different ways, however it is I am needed most, but my most important role in their lives is to give them one more person whom they know without doubt loves them with her whole heart.
Who they know thinks that each one is tremendous and smart and gorgeous and funny and capable and unique and absolutely beloved.
Which is cool because that's exactly how I feel.
Well. That was my day.
I got this picture from my husband.
Now that's a fish. It's a red grouper and I'm really hoping it was the right size and species for him to keep because there ain't no better eating in the whole world.
And oh! Hank did a quiz podcast for a guy who has other podcasts and if you want to hear what my son sounds like and what his trivia sounds like, check it out.
I'm so proud of him.
The evening cricket symphony is rising and falling with disparate voices coming in with harmonies to the chorus. The church next door is probably going strong but I'm sure their windows are shut for their air conditioning and my air conditioning is on too so I can't hear them but the summer praise hymns of the evening crickets are holy to me. They are splendid and magnificent beyond bearing.
Happy Friday, y'all.