All the rain we've had recently has resulted in a beautiful lushness. It has been the rainiest spring and summer since we moved here nine years ago and I am more than happy about it. It not only makes all the green growing things happy, it lowers the temperature a bit which is always welcome. Yes, it is steamy but I'd rather walk out into a temperate sauna than into a blast furnace. In this weather I can almost feel the trees breathing easily rather than panting as it seems they have been doing in summers past. The rain affects everything, including my outlook. I feel as if worrying about the weather is one less thing I have to do right now. When there is drought, I get a sense of vague and worrisome unease and I feel certain I am not the only one.
I have had good energy today, even though my stomach has not felt quite right. But I haven't had any nausea and so we go on. My Strep culture came back negative and that, too, is good. I think it's quite possible I've had a little virus and if so, it will pass. My nose is a little sore where it was hit but it's not so bad.
I got my boys this afternoon and brought them out here for a few hours. When I got to Lily's house I asked Gibson, "Do you want to go to MerMer's house?" and he nodded his head vigorously. He is at the stage where he does know and says some words but I have a strong feeling and sense that he understands a great deal of what we say. The other day Lily and I were talking about something that made him cough and he heard us and started fake coughing. He probably understands hundreds of words. This afternoon I read him a version of The Little Red Hen and he listened intently to the entire thing and vigorously pointed to and tapped the pictures. He is such a joyful child. I am not sure I've ever known such a joyful child. He laid on my bed this afternoon and rolled and lolled on the pillows with such obvious delight. He is an expert at walking now and he holds my finger as we move about the yard or the house although he does still very much love to be picked up and carried and I give in to that because...well, he's my baby. I still dip my head down to smell his head and I kiss him so fiercely when I hold him and when I change his diaper. He loves to scoot away from me, of course, and today when he did that, he rolled over on his tummy and presented me with his butt which is, right now, a perfect fat valentine of a baby bottom and my heart broke with the beauty of it.
Owen has a new thing going. He has decided that he does not want anyone but his mother and his father kissing and hugging him.
One must respect these wishes, I suppose, but if it goes on for too long, he is shit out of luck because he, too, is still my baby and I am going to hug and kiss him, even if he protests. He brought over what he called his vacation case this afternoon. It may have been a purse at some point, I am not sure. But it was filled, not with a toothbrush and a change of clothes but about a dozen or so small cars and trucks and motorcycles. He played with those most of the afternoon, all over the house. He also told me about the "gredients" his mother puts in a smoothie. According to Owen, her smoothies consist of mangos and bananas and apples and tomatoes.
"Tomatoes?" I asked him.
"Yes," he said. And then he proceed to tell me all of the things she puts into the tomatoes before she makes the smoothie. These included a llama, a car, wood, and a human. Also, fingernails.
"Those the gredients," he told me quite solemnly.
"Really?" I asked.
"Yep!" he said. I did not challenge him. Who knows what Lily puts in her smoothies? Although I feel certain she does not put fingernails in them.
He wanted to paint his face today with my make-up and of course I let him. He looked a bit like a tribal elder by the time it was over and I showed him how to put the brush into the pots of color and tap, tap, tap it before he brought it out to use it on his face. I think his father was a little shocked when he saw the boy. When he got here to pick the boys up, we were in the hallway dancing to the Rolling Stones and Gibson was sitting on the piano stool, playing piano along with the CD.
"You caught us!" I told Jason. "We are having music education hour."
"Uh-huh," said Jason. I tried to get Owen to show his daddy his Jagger moves but he refused. Instead, he did his panther imitation which I have to say he is quite good at.
It was a short time with them but a good one and we found two eggs and saw the mama chicken with her babies which are now only two instead of three. Mr. Peep looked unusually forlorn and sad today. Mr. Peep is the turkey who lives next door with goats and chickens. He is at least nine years old and I thought he looked to be on death's door when we moved here but obviously not. For approximately two days he had a turkey hen to live with but she quickly disappeared. I do not know what happened to her but Owen still remembers her.
"Where Mr. Peeps's sweetheart?" he asked me today.
"I don't know, Owen," I said. "She is gone. She's been gone for a long time. Mr. Peep needs a sweetheart, doesn't he?"
"Yes," Owen said. "You my sweetheart, Mer? And Boppy's?"
"I am," I told him.
And then he listed all of his sweethearts from his mama and daddy to his other grandmother and and we agreed that we all need sweethearts, even Mr. Peep.
These boys bring lushness to my life the way rain brings it to the flora. They also bring chaos and messes and tears. They are children. This is their job. Because I am their grandmother and not their mother, none of that is too overwhelming and even in the chaos, I can find sweetness and humor. Owen asked me if I knew what one of his cars' names was today and I said, "Lightening McQueen," and he was astounded. "You know that?" he asked. "How you know that?"
"Because you told me," I said. "You taught me that. You teach me things Owen. Sometimes I teach you things and sometimes you teach me things. Everyone has something to teach other people about. Did you know that?"
He pondered this for awhile and then he allowed as how this was probably true.
I am going to go cook a piece of salmon and some potatoes from the garden, see what my tummy says about that. It's been a good day. Mr. Moon is out of town and I'll probably go to bed early and finish up the book I'm reading. It looks like it might rain again tonight which is lovely. Can there be too much lushness in a life?
Possibly but I don't think we're anywhere near that point.
Sleep well, y'all.