Monday, September 19, 2011

Who Knew? Not Me.

Quiet. Shhh. Do you hear it?
Mr. Moon is off to the auction and Owen is off to home with his daddy.
And I am here alone.


Owen has learned to say this with his finger on his lips. We started it the other day when we were checking for eggs from the trap doors which Mr. Moon cleverly built behind the nests. "Let's not scare the hen," I said, and demonstrated the shhhh. He had never seen the nests from that vantage point and was enchanted. We could spy on the hens without them knowing we were there. It was, oh, you know, amaiging.

So much is amazing in Owen's world at the age of almost-two. Painting, of course, and eggs and the mule next door which he now insists is a horse and he neighs passionately to demonstrate. We gave her a carrot today, the mule, and it is hard to explain that a mule, although she may look a great deal like a horse, is actually not one. Entirely.

He asked for Pearl again today. We were outside and he said, "Pearl?"
"She's gone, honey," I said sadly. "She is gone."
He said, "Trees?" and he pointed up.
"Do you think she's in a tree?" I asked.
"Uh-huh. Eggs. Nest."
Pearl has a nest in the trees now and she has eggs?"

Well. Who knows? Not me.

He's very into pretending now. And also, he is vastly interested in animals. Of all sorts. He told me this afternoon that he'd heard a lion on the back porch. We went out to investigate. He changed his story, though, to tell me that there had been an elephant and he wanted to go into the back yard to find it. "Where at?" he asked me. We went out to look but sadly, did not find it. I'm sure we must have just missed it, though.

Last night I ended up making a sort of fish pie/quiche thing with the leftover grilled grouper. It turned out rather well and I was even proud of my pie crust, which I do not usually make because I suck at it. But this one was good and I filled it with leftover spinach and rice and red peppers and the grouper and a little cheese and some eggs mixed up with milk and a few other things. I baked it and it was just about perfect. The grouper ended up tasting almost like crab- sweet and smokey and just fine. I gave Jason a bite to try before he left today and Owen wanted some. I gave him a little. He ate it and wanted more. He ended up eating almost half an entire piece and I gave Jason another piece to take home for Owen's supper if he wants it. Now what sort of a child that age likes fish pie?
Owen does.
It made me giggle. What a strange and wonderful little boy, sitting at the kitchen counter, eating fish pie with spinach and red peppers and saying, "More!"

Oh, it's so quiet. Well, the squirrels are chasing each other around the pecan tree next to the porch, rattling the bark with their toenails. Owen and I watched them today, too. "There are a lot of animals at Mer-Mer's house, aren't there?" I asked him.
"Uh-huh!" he agreed.
I keep thinking about determined I was to buy this house and what an uphill slog it was, trying to convince Mr. Moon. I had no ideas about chickens or grandchildren either one at that point, but I sure knew I wanted the house. It was like when I bought a rocking chair and brought it home and showed it to my husband. "You know what you bought, don't you?" he asked me. "What?" "A grandmother chair."
It wasn't long after that that Lily became pregnant with Owen.

It's all like a dream, somehow. You walk into a house on a cold, rainy winter day and it calls to you and you don't have the slightest idea why except, well, it's beautiful, and you fall in love so hard that there's no way to deny your want which has become like a need.
Do grandmothers nest?
I wonder.

It feels like it. Like to everything there is a season, you know? And it was my season to create some sort of magical place for grandchildren with giant trees and bamboo and flowers and a garden and all sorts of animals, both wild and domestic. With porches and closets and stairs that go up to heaven (Jessie's room) and an entire room full of books, many at child's reach, to pull out and look at. With a kitchen with shelves built seemingly just for toys. With a bedroom where naps are taken and stories are told and there is always a grandparent within reach. With rocking chairs everywhere, inside and out. Where lions roar on the porch and elephants slip into the backyard and there are trees just the right size to climb and enough quiet to allow for all of this to occur in. And to make it just that much more exciting when the train goes by, right behind the chicken coop where the train can safely be watched from a grandmother's hip. With a garage filled with man-things. Boats and four-wheelers and tools and all of the things that a grandfather knows how to use.

My god. I am lucky. And if I can share this luck, this incredible fortune, with small people who are the direct result of my life and my love, then I am truly the luckiest woman in the world.
And I fucking know it.

And I even have the time and quiet (shhhh) and solitude to revel in it all.

If this is what it means to grow old, I will gladly take it. Even with the wrinkles and pains and aches and worries and cares. I will take it. Because all of it is the direct result of my life and my love.

Amen, y'all. That's what's in my heart tonight. Amen.


  1. You make me miss my g'kids when they were little.

  2. How exciting and fulfilling it all must be. I am content finally with my life and the direction it's going. I find comfort in our routines and the silly things we do for and with our child, who could easily be our grand child... (age wise

    They are the best teachers and your house.... forgetaboutit! It's loaded with magic.

  3. Stephanie- Just you wait!

    Ellen- Such a magical time. I am cherishing it.

    Ms. Fleur- And we live in a very magical community, don't we?

  4. Oh beautiful! Owen is such a sweet child--and you do have a perfect grandma house.

  5. It is a good life. I appreciate all that I have here as well. I thought it was nice that Owen asked about Pearl. I hope that he continues to remember her.

  6. I really do love you so much. You are positively infectious -- quite literally.

  7. Lora- Your kids would have such a good time here. And what kids wouldn't?

    Syd- It's funny that he does remember her. I wonder how long he will?

    Elizabeth- Ah. You too, baby. I love you.

  8. I have been reading this blog for a while and yes you are very blessed, but
    who's Pearl?

  9. One of the coolest things about being Owen's age is the fact that he can build on a chain of ideas without the need for closure. We forget that as adults.

    The other cool thing about Owen is that he will continue to connect that which YOU already know to what you don't actually KNOW.

    Love to you all!

  10. right on, today my lovely wife and I have 31 years anniversary and both in the beginning of the '60ties and despite old legs etc. etc. we are happier than ever, so yes it is a privilege to get older, have time to enjoy with our grandkids ! and don't care much about how to look, but just enjoy overall life, getting dirty is heaven ! lol niels

  11. I remember how mules and donkeys and horses puzzled me when I was small. Where were all the mule babies?

    And I had the same determination to move out and live in the countryside even though it would be harder and lonelier -- but I had to wake up and see mountains and wild veld and rivers. I couldn't go on in the city. And here I am, lucky, lucky lucky.

  12. Grandmotherdom is magical, Ms Moon. Your writing makes it so.

  13. This is my first visit, love your graceful take on grandmotherhood. And I am inspired by your conversation in the comments - I am going to try to do that.

    Mary Christine

  14. Ms. Mary Moon... you are an awesome person... an awesome lucky person... I love how you revel in your life... You teach us all good things...

  15. Lulu- Hello! Pearl was our sweet old boxer dog. If you go over to that label cloud on the side, you can look her up.

    Omgrrrl- Yep. He does that for me every day. Reminds me of so much that I have forgotten but which is important.

    niels- And congratulations to you and to your bride! Thirty-one years! Yay!

    Mary LA- Yes. Those of us who know what we need and can actually have that are the luckiest of all.

    Elisabeth- It is so magical for me.

    Mary Christine- Well, hello! And I am so glad you are here. It is time-consuming to answer comments but yes, it makes it more of a give-and-take. A real conversation. Thanks for coming by and thanks for commenting.

    Dianne- And at least once a day, I have to remind myself, which is why I write it down. For myself as much as for anyone else. Thank-you.

  16. Good night lion. Good night, elephant.
    Goodnight Owen. Good night, Moons.

  17. And a good and wise heart it is.

    To steal from Sir Elton, I thank the Lord there are people out there like you.


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