Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Paying Attention

Let's face it- taking care of Owen wears me out. And he's a GOOD boy. But the day after, I can feel my body's reaction to hoisting him up and slinging him on my hip which feels so easy, so right when I'm doing it but oh, the next day.
But when he lifts up those arms and says, "Mer-Mer!" I can't not pick him up.
I simply can't.
I know how quickly the time will come when he will NOT want to be carried by his grandmother. Ever.
That boy, that boy.
He demands and receives all of my attention. Every single thing he does, he wants Mer-Mer to watch. He gets on his horse and commands me to "sit," which I do. I sit in the rocking chair beside him and watch him ride. I say, "What a great rider you are! You are such a good cowboy!" And he asks for hats which we keep handy and he wears one for awhile and then takes it off and asks for another. Sometimes he puts the hats on the horse.
Hats are a good look both on horses and almost-two year olds.
He plays the piano. "Mer-Mer!" he calls. And I must sit and watch him.
Oh god. If it were any child but my grandchild I would be...not so patient.

But he knows me so well. Yesterday after our nap when we got up he went with me into the bathroom and fished around in the little wooden dish I keep my hair things in and found me a hair tie and handed it to me and said, "Here," because he knows that my hair is going up the second I get up. For some reason, that just knocked me out.

I guess what I'm saying here is that despite the aches and pains that come with taking care of that boy, the infinite patience it takes, I wouldn't trade doing it for the world. It is not a one-way thing, my relationship with him. He has learned what Mer-Mer likes and if he is in the mood (which is surprisingly, a great deal of the time) he will do his best to please me. And when I do say "no" which, sometimes, yes, I do, he is easily distracted and doesn't push the point. He doesn't take it personally. He knows I adore him.
Oh yes. He knows that.

Well, it's another morning in Lloyd and I have got to get to town and pick up a few things I need for my trip. Yes! I am going to Asheville, leaving Saturday morning early with Hank and we are going to meet up with Lis and pick her up and drive that long drive up to North Carolina and we are going to stay for almost a week. I'll be there for my birthday. I have been dealing with the pre-trip anxiety by ignoring the fact that I'm going but there are certain things which must be attended to before I go. My prescription, books, etc.
I am so looking forward to seeing my girl, my Jessie. I have been dealing with her being gone by pretending that she's not but I'm stretching even my ability to deny at this point. I need to see her. And I've never been on a trip with Hank. This is going to be so much fun! And Lizzie- she is the best, best traveling companion. We took a road trip once to St. Pete and honey- Lord. We had fun. Oh yes we did.
And we shall have fun on this trip too.

But. It's hard to leave. That boy. And the man, of course. We finally did what we've been joking about doing for years now and moved the outside chairs to right beside the chicken coop and I've been sitting there, watching the new chooks. This morning I let both flocks into the coop at once while I drank my coffee and it went well. Elvis mostly ignores the new ones although Miss Bob is territorial about the water and food. I gave them a few minutes together and then let the old flock out. Yesterday I let the new ones out too and they spent a pleasant day scratching in the leaves around the coop. At night, they all found their way back to roost. I love chickens. I will miss my chickens.
And my flowers and my house.

I will not miss my dogs.

My back hurts. My knees hurt. I feel old today.
Well. I am a grandmother.

And as such, I am learning patience. I am learning to accept that with pleasure, pain does sometimes come along for the ride.

The important thing is to keep riding. Wear a hat sometimes. Keep Ibuprofen close at hand. Take your vitamins, take your walks. Eat your damn vegetables. When your beloveds want your attention and say "sit," do it. The dishes will get washed at some point.

Don't make such a damn big fucking deal out of everything.

The world had been operating on its own for many, many, MANY years before you got here. It will continue to do so after you are gone.

I'm preaching to myself.

Thanks for sitting down beside me and listening. You have no idea how much I appreciate that.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon


  1. This post brought many, many things to mind but just this minute the only thing I can say is that paying attention is the most important thing ever. I am envious of your road trip-it seems like a long time since I have been on one!

  2. You're preaching to me, as well. And I need to sit and listen, because I'm the last person to show attention and care to.

  3. We've taken trips! Remember going down to St. Pete to see Bill and go to a concert? That was extremely formative.

  4. Kori- When you're old like me you'll have time and money for road trips. I bet you will!

    Angie- I know what you're saying.

    DTG- Oh my god! How could I have forgotten! That was an excellent road trip!

  5. I'll never forget it! But that was 17 or 18 years ago.

  6. DTG- I'll never forget it either. I guess I was thinking of taking a trip with a more "adult" you. You were a fledgling then, as it were. My beautiful, darling fledgling. You are my heart, you know.

  7. A very wide-eyed fledgling, indeed. Hey, what car are we taking?

  8. DGT- We have choices. What do you think?

  9. I'm just along for the ride, so anything comfortable. With a decent radio.

  10. I like the stories of the new chickens and how they are adapting. I think that you will have a good time. Asheville is where I would like to go this weekend too as it is supposed to be 96 here. Ugh! After this past weekend with its wee taste of fall, I got spoiled.

  11. Well, we all really enjoy sitting beside you each day - trust me on that one. You're going to have an awesome road trip!

  12. DTG- With any luck those criteria shall be filled.

    Syd- Is it cooler there? I need to check. If you're going to be there, let me know.

    Jill- Thank-you so much. I mean it.

  13. I think you already know this, but just for the fun of it, I'll say... take my word for it, you are a very important part of that boy's life. Such love.

    And your anxiety about your trip... do you think you are getting to a place where you can experience the anxiety and move through it as part of your process? My mom had a book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. I don't know anything about the inside of that book, but the title, that statement, has always stuck with me.

  14. I want to sit beside you and have coffee and watch the chickens. Or, we could have martinis and watch the chickens! YES.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.