I woke up just a few minutes before Owen and he wanted to immediately go feed the cat and let the chickens out and he is big enough now to do those things so I got the paper and kept an eye on him while he did the morning chores. When we let out the baby chicks together, Nicey, as always, was the first one out and he picked her up and discovered she had poop on her feet and so he had poop on his fingers but he didn't fuss about it, just came into the house and washed his hands.
The other day we were watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon and it was a silly story, as they all are, but it was set in a hen house and every part of the chicken behavior and the hay and the egg-laying were all completely familiar to my boys. For some reason, that made me feel good. Yes, Owen knows more about Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles than I ever will but he also knows about chickens and where eggs come from and how to feed the chickens and hold them if they will let you and how not to freak out if you get a little chicken poop on your hand.
He also knows what a cardinal is and will stop on the porch and point and whisper, "Look Mer! Look at the cardinal in that tree!" He will not always care about such things and I know that but he does now and I know enough to cherish it all as it happens. When he grows older, he will once again care about cardinals. Maybe even chickens. Who knows?
I sat and cuddled Gibson for awhile this morning. We did baby-lap games. This Little Piggy and Whoops, Johnny. "More," he says, sticking his little toes up. He talks and he talks and he talks. He loves his people and he loves to eat and he loves the chickens and the old stinky dogs, too.
"Chichens!" he calls to the little flock. "Chichens!" and then he feeds them crackers and grapes and greedy Miss Ozzie and Elvis eat from his hands.
Sunday morning in Lloyd with the grands. There have been pancakes and bacon and orange juice. There has been playing on the swing set and pretending. Owen calls his horse. He pretends to whistle and calls out, "Maximus!" and Maximus trots up to him and I pretend to pet him and then they climb the tower together. Maximus is a very, very smart horse and nimble, too.
"Today is Sunday," said Owen as I made the pancakes. "Do you know what that means?"
"No, honey. What does that mean?"
"It means I have to go home," he said. He sounded sad.
"True," I said. "But you will come back."
I love that the boys know this house as well as I do. The other day Gibson wanted a pen and Owen knew where a pen was two feet away from where we were. I didn't know it was there. But he did. He knows where on the porch he can catch lizards and put them outside. He can measure his growth by how easy it is now to open up the hen house. "I'm not even standing on my tippy toes!" he said to me in wonder this morning as he reached up to undo the latch. Gibson likes to stand on the step ladder now and smell the spices, just as his brother did when he was younger. He knows Cinnamon and nutmeg by name. He takes a sniff and goes, "Mmmmmm, Cinmon," and "Mmmmmmm, Nu-egg."
I changed that child's diaper this morning and he said, "Tinkoo."
That may be a first in my life.
And now their parents have come and collected them. Here's a beautiful thing- those boys are completely happy here with us but when their mommy and daddy come, they are completely happy to see them too. The boys crawled all over their mommy and she hugged them and twirled them and held them upside down. Gibson buries himself in her, so happy. But then he runs and grabs me too. Owen wants Boppy and his daddy to play a Wii game together. He cheers them both on.
It's very quiet now in Lloyd. The constant, "Mer! Watch this!" "MerMer, uppy-uppy,"gone with the boys.
No tricycle wheels, no horse calling, no demands for snacks or juice. Just birds and the click, click of these keys and the roosters calling, yard to yard.
Mr. Moon just asked if it was too early for a nap. I told him that no, it was not but it's really too sweet and too nice right now to go to sleep and there's so much I could do, possibly should do. The list is endless and yet, so what? I think I'll drift from task to task, taking my time, as Mr. Rogers used to like to do. It feels like luxury to contemplate this.
Softness and quiet and I am thinking of how Owen asked for the Mr. Peep story last night and if I forgot a detail, he would sleepily murmur a reminder.
He hasn't forgotten.
He is growing bigger every day in his mind and his body and so perhaps there is more room to keep memories, even as we make more.
Happy Sunday, y'all.