Thursday, January 10, 2013

Doing What I Can

Another full day. Completely.
And while the boys were here, all was well. There really isn't time to bog myself down in the thoughts that poison me when they're around. With a baby or a small boy, one has to stay two steps ahead, seeing and preventing peril at every turn. This is the way of it. Everything is a possible threat to small children from stairs to pruning shears to chemicals under the sink. We all know this. And so the mind stays busy and the body as well.

After they left, Owen calling out his good-bye yodel, Gibson waving and saying buh-buh-buh, I again slept for a little while, then got up and had a shot of espresso and did what my dear Lis calls a "fluff-and-stuff" with the house, tidying and putting away and sweeping and then put the laundry away and now I've got supper started and the dark is here and I feel the anxiety creeping in and if there has been one thing about my fifties I have hated beyond all measure, beyond even what my skin has done, it is the anxiety.

Well. I've lived through worse.

I haven't talked to my mother but the charge nurse where she is now reported nothing out of the ordinary. I will go and visit tomorrow. I will take camellias in a vase. I will go to the grocery store. I will return library books. So many pieces of my life feel as they are fraying, coming undone and the word "slatternly" keeps coming to my mind. I feel as if I have become slatternly in my house, in my yard, in my body, in my life. Not that my standards have ever been that high.
But still.

Well. We fed a mule today, Owen and I. I taught him to hold his hand flat so that the donkey-horsey, as Owen called her after I told him about a mule's parentage, could take the apple without biting the hand. We fed grapes to the chickens and we played cards and read a book. Gibson practiced his walking and Owen pronounced his brother "adorable" and gave him many kisses and when the small boy was tired, I rocked him to sleep against my bosom while Owen laid out a chess board with all the men and checkers too in an arrangement which pleased him. I fed them casserole with twirly noodles and Owen called it "delicious." We disturbed a hen on the nest and when she kicked up a fuss he said, "Oh! Sorry Chicken! Sorry, sorry!" and then he looked at me and said, "Jesus."
I could barely stand to tell him he should not say that, he used it so correctly, his tone so perfect.

I do not let the dishes stand overnight. The laundry is done and put away. The boys were sent home filthy and tired but whole and well and loving me. I do what I can and if the spider webs threaten to overtake us, if the dead brown of winter has yet been trimmed back, if there is dust everywhere...well, that's just the way it is.

My legs need shaving but my hair is clean and my teeth have been flossed in recent memory. There is much that I am not attending to- believe me- but again, I am doing what I can.

Mixed emotions.

Last night I watched the video here. 
It made me happy.

Go ahead and sigh and say, "Oh, Ms. Moon and her Rolling Stones obsession."
Music will save your life. It has saved mine over and over again.
It is something you can count on like baby kisses and oat bran muffins and holding your hand flat when you feed apples to a mule.

And Keith Richards.

Supper is ready.

Let's eat.


  1. I'd like to feed Keith an apple while holding my hand flat.

  2. Another day well lived I'd say.

    Owen and his ways of talking will entertain me forever.

    I hope you can get that anxiety's ass kicked soon.

  3. Denise- I think I'd curl my fingers a little bit in hopes that he'd bite them.
    But I have to tell you- that comment delighted me to my very bones.

    Jill- That boy amuses me all day long. I swear he does.

  4. That first photo is so freaking cool. There's something about the perspective -- the huge chicken in the foreground, the stroller, the air of expectancy. I just love it.

  5. I love the pictures of Gibson and Owen holding the dolly. So so cute. And Owen's Jesus, just right! Again and again, I am so glad you have them and feel lucky just in your sharing them with us here. You done good this week. S. Jo

  6. Lord. Your rooster could win ribbons at the county fair. He is marvelous.
    Slatternly is a very excellent word, so descriptive.
    Yes, little kids keep you so busy you can barely muster the energy to be anxious.
    Owen, calling his brother adorable made me smile. Owen saying Jesus to the chicken made me laugh out loud.
    Music has saved my life over and over too. Thanks for the link.

    Sleep well. You worked hard today.

  7. Children are life savers. They have a wonderful way of puttin' things into perspective for us. And you're right about music; it's a life saver, too. Sleep tight, Ms. Mary.

  8. Night Mary Moon. By the looks of it, it was a charmed day. The boys are growing before our eyes and so clearly loving and loved.

  9. Damn it, Ms. Moon, I do love reading your words. I don't know if it is because we are sharing similar experiences with little people running our life but every so often I just come to your blog and feel so connected to you. Plus I totally get the music thing. I recently fell in love with a band called "The Gaslight Anthem" and I can't imagine my life without them. Music is an awesome thing. Take care.

  10. Good luck tomorrow. I hope it all goes well. And happy you have your boy medicine to recharge with. It's good stuff.


  11. Look at that smile on Gibson! Gotta love that face. Sounds like a grand day with the boys. And that donkey is cool too.

  12. "slatternly"---yeah, good word; but you're not. I do sometimes leave the dishes in the sink overnight. Don't like that, but it can happen....

  13. I've actually been keeping up with you Mary but since I didn't pay the cable bill, I'be no computer and only my phone and commenting is hard via my little phone.
    Anyway, it sounds like your mother is better but I know it's hard for you. I certainly understand the anxiety as it has always been my cross to bear also. It sucks and I know no way around it except
    Sometimes it helps me to know others understand and so I am here to say I understand this sort of pain. I wish you some peace.

  14. It certainly doesn't SOUND like your life has grown slatternly. You're cleaning and walking and doing all kinds of stuff all the time -- not to mention managing family medical crises. Slatternly, you're not. You're just yearning for more control, and that's one thing NONE of us have. Right?

    I'm laughing at the image of Owen turning to you and saying, "Jesus." I can totally picture that, even having never met either of you!

  15. Ahahahaha, feeding Keith an apple. Naughty ladies :)

    This sounds like a lovely day. I wish you were anxiety free. I wish everyone was. I truly do.

  16. Yep, music and children keep me going too, although I do leave the dishes overnight and my hair is unwashed.
    And talking of perspective, in the second photo it looks (to me)like the donkey is hanging from the tree right above Owen's head, like a . . . what are they called? A paper donkey full of candy? they are much more popular in USA than here.
    I'm ten days away from 50 and I swear I just woke up this morning with whiskery jowls that weren't there yesterday . . . Horrific.
    I love coming to visit you though x

  17. I want you to know I've been reading every post, I haven't had two spare seconds to comment though. (I'm here from insomnia now so...)

    My FIL had dementia. It was the hardest thing to watch him waste away and not be the man we all knew him to be.

    Do what makes you happy. If it means watching Stones videos til your eyes bug out, do it. Anxiety is an old friend of mine. Rolling around with babies and chickens will help keep it at bay. So do that.

  18. Elizabeth- It is a nice shot, isn't it? Not in any technical sense, but in the here-is-a-story shot.

    S Jo- I don't feel like I've done well this week. But thank you. So much.

    Mel- God. Every time I think about Owen looking at me and saying, "Jesus," I crack up.

    Nancy- You are such a love. Thanks.

    Angella- One of the best things about being a grandmother is the way I have the time to actually observe and record these boys as they grow. It's so amazing to me.

    Mr. Shife- We do share certain sensibilities, you and I, even though on the surface we appear to be so different.

    Ms. Fleur- Thanks, honey.

    Syd- You have an affinity for that Gibson's smile, don't you? I'm glad.

    A- I don't know. You should see the dust around here.

    Rubye Jack- It DOES help. I swear it does. So thank you.

    Steve-I haven't walked in a week! See? Slatternly! I wish I had a video of Owen saying that to me. He was completely appropriate with it.

    Jo- Me too, honey.

    Bugerlugs- You're right- that mule does look a bit like a pinata! I'm glad you visit here too. I really am.

    Heartinhand- We're all so busy. And I must admit I do spend a little more time watching Rolling Stones videos than I should.
    Whatever gets you through the night. Right?

  19. My legs need shaving too. I am in good company.


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