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?
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?
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.