The air is sort of green and I am not sure why but the sun is setting and the sky is clear; it is blue. Still, there is a green glow about everything which is a bit disconcerting. It is a stage lit by a slightly demented technician. The children next door from the church have been let outside and I can hear their laughter as they race about, freed from the constraints of sitting and behaving. My husband has just left for a week of gator hunting down in Franklin county, his boat trailed behind his truck. He will stop off at the airport and collect his friend from Canada with whom he will be hunting and they will drive down tonight which relieves me of the pressure of being a hostess, which makes me realize how very thoughtful he is, how truly kind. I didn't even ask him to do that. He knew, though, that that's what would make me happiest, sanest, and so he just did it.
He is a good, kind man. He cares about me more than even I know sometimes and I know he cares a lot.
I've just gone out to shut the chickens up. As Mr. Moon was leaving, they were in the tall grass, pecking at either seeds or bugs, I do not know, but they were a true flock, working together, Elvis off a little ways, eating a bit himself, but mostly watching over. I never see him eat as much as the hens and when he does come across something exceptionally toothsome, he calls them with a very distinct hoot and they come rushing and he backs away to let them share his find. If that is not vocal communication, I do not know what is. If that is not altruistic behavior, I don't know what is. Yes, of course, he gets sex in exchange for his generosity, his constant careful watchfulness, but still, it never ceases to impress me, his faithful steadfastness to his hens. He has his favorites among them but I cannot detect any prejudice or special favors on his part when it comes to his actions toward the sister-wives.
The green is gone, the sky has darkened, the children at the church have gone home with their parents.
My grandsons who were here all afternoon have gone home with their father and the house has been tidied and the laundry folded and the dishes washed. It was a good afternoon with those boys. There was indeed Brown Sugar and there was dancing and running and pretending.
"Mer, pretend I a horse and you didn't know that a horse could talk."
He is down on all fours, grazing. He looks up at me and says, "Hey!"
"What?! Who said that? Horses can't talk!"
And so forth.
Then we reversed roles and he was the person who did not know that horses could talk and I was the talking horse and when I began to speak to him as a horse, he did a beautiful wide-eyed expression, put his hands to his heart, and pretended to faint gracefully on the bed.
Oh boy. That one.
He slays me.
Gibson was beyond happy to have his Boppa here to play with. He follows him around like a puppy. "Boppa? Boppa?" he calls, if he loses sight of him. And his Boppa grabs him up and kisses him and kisses him. It is beyond precious. My heart. Oh my heart.
Boppy and Owen were playing Wii sword-fighting and there's a game on it where you have to slice falling objects in the direction of arrows displayed on the objects and I wanted to try it. Every time I got it right, Owen would say, "Good job!" and lean over and kiss me on the couch. Gibson grabbed an old phone and began waving it around like a controller. He wanted to play too. He is at the baby stage where he wants to do everything that everyone else does and he...almost...can.
"I love you!" he shouts to me in his baby tongue and then he hugs me.
How can this even be?
And of course there's water spilled and there's mischief made and my hips hurt like fire but, but, but.
This is it. This is life. This is thirty-years-down-the-road-with-the-same-good-man. This is worry and fear and fatigue and struggle and the constant realization of the miracle of it all. This is so much more than enough to eat and a place to lay my head. This is love. This is love for the babies and love back from them. This is love for our lives and what we have made from our love. This is caring. This is kindness. This is putting someone else's feelings above our own but knowing that the other person wants to do the same for us. This is my son texting me and asking, "Are you okay?" This is more than I can say.
And right now, this is peace.
It is quiet here in this house in Lloyd where a few hours ago there was chaos and tricycles in the hallway and constant calls of "Mer! Mer!" and a tiny boy grabbing my hand and saying, "Hand?" and leading me from one room to another and wanting to be put up on the rocking horse and oh, I am so tired.
He will be gone almost a week. Funny that I wondered yesterday what he would be eating while he was gone and last night he asked me what I would be eating.
"Whatever I want," I told him.
And I shall sleep when I want and rise when I want within the constraints, of course, of what my body dictates. I shall read into the night if I want, I will lay my book down on the bed where he usually sleeps when I am too tired to read another word. I will take the dogs out at night before I go to bed which is usually his job and I will try to keep the home fires burning.
I rub my lips, I stretch my leg which is propped on the table beside me. The crickets chirp and the frogs sing.
I am loved.
And the tiny slip of moon rises in the black velvet sky.
In the spirit of I-can-do-what-I-want-when-I-want-it I just watched an entire crazy video of the Stones doing one of my favorite songs off of the compilation that the boys and I listen to endlessly. It is ridiculous, Jagger in his full Brenda shag hair mode complete with a diamond embedded in his tooth.
I loved it.
Daddy, you're a fool to cry.