The Butterfly Lily
That picture is in lieu of the one I wish I could post which is of Owen giving me a porch concert this afternoon. He was playing the toy piano which I bought a thousand years ago for Hank and May, and Buster was sniffing at the base of it as Owen sang and there was a cup of "hot cocoa" on top of the piano like a cocktail piano player's martini. I can't post the picture because Owen had just gotten out of the bath and was naked as the day he was born and I can't bring myself to do such a thing. He needed the hot cocoa because he was cold, or so he said. Today the temperatures got up into the nineties so I doubt he was very cold but perhaps he was a little chilled.
Whatever. He wanted hot cocoa and so I made it for him. In his favorite hot cocoa mug.
It was a day of mostly just doing whatever those boys wanted. When they got here, Owen was dragging his blanket with him and announced that he had gotten to bed too late and needed a nap and so Boppy and Gibson and Owen and I all got into our bed and we put Toy Story 2 on and Gibson had a bit of a bottle and we all snuggled and watched approximately fifty-eight seconds of the movie before the bottle was finished and Owen had had enough and everyone was wiggly and so we had breakfast.
Our porch spider has disappeared. The one who has hung so faithfully and seemingly perilously over the porch swing all summer long, our beautiful golden orb weaver. She has left two clusters of eggs, wrapped securely in silk and attached to the ceiling and I can find no sign of her whatsoever, neither alive nor dead. It makes me sad. She has been part of our summer and Owen has refused to swing at times because he is afraid she will poop on him. She was big enough that that was a bit of a concern. Her sister is still hanging in (sorry) by the door and she only has one egg packet.
"Spi?" Gibson keeps saying.
"She's gone, baby," I tell him.
He points to the other one by the door.
"Spi!" he says happily.
"Yes, she is still there."
He is saying so many words. Of course, you have to know him to know what most of them are although a few of them are quite distinctive.
More, go, mine, Ma-Ma, Da-Da, Boppa, MerMer, night-night, baby, cookie, all gone.
Every day there are more. Chicken and dog and kitty and I love you are right up there but they are shortened versions of themselves. We know what he's saying though.
He brought me the phone today and demanded to speak to Boppa who had left to go to the hunting camp in Georgia earlier. He was adamant and practically frantic. And so I called his Boppa and said, "Will you please speak to Gibson?" and of course he did.
All the child wanted was to say hello to his Boppa, which he did, and then to say good-bye, which he did and he was happy.
He started looking at a catalog in the kitchen today and he called all of the pretty models May-May. I found this charming. He loves to look at the pictures on my phone. He names all the people in the pictures. "Why are all my pictures of you and Gibson?" I asked Owen today.
"Because you love us," he said.
Ah, that child.
Of course yesterday there was this exchange in the garage:
"MerMer, how much that bird feeder cost?" (pointing to an old, retired bird feeder in the corner)."Three bucks, six bucks, twenty bucks?"
"Probably like twenty bucks," I said. It cracks me up that he is using the word "bucks".
He looked a little sad.
"You too old to remember things like that," he said.
Part of me was incensed. Part of me started channeling some old country MeeMaw who would say in response to such a thing, "Well, I might be old, but I ain't too old to spank your little be-hiney."
Of course, I would never spank his little be-hiney, or probably not, anyway, and part of me was simply amused and so I said, "Honey, I am sort of old but I didn't buy the bird feeder so I don't know how much it cost."
"Oh," he said.
There was no talk of be-hineys.
It reminded me of the time he told me that I was a "rather large woman," and I am still laughing about that one.
By the time they left, I was as tired as I could be. I laid down and took a small nap, got up and drank an espresso over ice and tidied up, did some more laundry, checked the progress of Tropical Storm Kate. Here's what you find at the National Weather Service Website:
Maybe some rain, some wind. We'll just have to see, as always. The planet turns and the oceans warm and cool and the winds come up and they go and we are at the mercy of all of it, just as we are at the mercy of the government, our hormones, our hearts. I got a robo-call from State Farm today advising me as to how to prepare for a hurricane as if I had never lived through one before. As if I had never seen what a hurricane can do to trees and oceans and houses and lives.
It is Friday night. My man is out of town and I am planning on sleeping so deeply that if a hurricane did approach, I would know nothing of it. I have no idea what I'm making for my supper and my plan for tomorrow is to throw out half of the stuff in my refrigerator. I would like it to look like a vision of heaven bathed in ethereal light when I open it. I might even go see a movie tomorrow. I will probably go buy myself a piece of salmon to cook, my hunting-widow's favorite meal. I have put up the chickens, meaning I have closed the door to the hen house after they put themselves to bed.
It is Friday night and I can feel myself dancing a little too close to the edge of okay and not okay but I am pretty sure I'll be fine. Have I not been grounded and pulled to reality for the past few days? Have I not made short-order breakfasts for four, cleaned bottoms, fed chickens, danced for a few seconds before 9 a.m. in my hallway with my husband to the Rolling Stones? Have I not cuddled and kissed and listened to a porch concert? Have I not stepped outside of my kitchen to smell the perfume of the Butterfly Lily?
See you tomorrow.