Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Boy Beneath Fig Tree

We played outside a lot today with the cooler weather which also meant fewer bugs. Yes, a small reprieve and we took it gladly.

We are trying to keep up with the bamboo kicking but sometimes it gets away from us. Here are the boys, playing with a larger sprout which can hardly be called a sprout.

Owen and I had a talk today about death. We were playing the Rolling Stones and he knows they're old because they are older than I AM and that is old. He said, "Mer, I wish the Rolling Stones didn't have to die."
"Me, too, baby," I said. "But we're all going to die some day."
"Even you," he said sadly. 
"I know. But it's okay."
He thought for awhile.
"Someday my wife will have babies," he said. "And then there will be more people!"
"That's right. That is how it works."
"Wow. People die but people have more and more babies and then there's more and more people."
"Yep. That's exactly right. 

And so it is. 

He also told me today that he wants a house just like mine. With the garage and everything. When he grows up. I told him that perhaps he could live in this very house someday when he has his wife and children. That maybe it could be his.
"But I'm going to live in Aplalachicola so that I can see you and Boppy every day!" 
"Well, then maybe you'll do that."
He put his chin in his hands and said, "I just can't know what I'm going to do."
"Well, that's how it is," I said. "You think you're going to do one thing and then things change and another idea seems better."
Four years old seems mighty young to be having these deep thoughts but as I recall, all of my own children had similar ones very early too. Soon, it will be Gibson's turn to ask the hard questions, to come up with the great concepts and to turn them over in his fertile little mind. It is a grand and splendid thing to be able to witness this again and again- this growth of mind and body in children whom I love. 
And to still be able to hold a sleeping child against my bosom having read him to sleep with Mother Goose.

Yes indeed. A very grand and very splendid thing. 
And they will be back tomorrow and we will continue this adventure, these conversations, two brothers and a grandmother, right here on this green planet where everything dies but new things keep being made and we will pay attention and we will learn. 


  1. Your Owen is wise beyond his years, and I love how you helped him to understand the way things work. My boy was always having shockingly mature observations about life and people. It made me simultaneously proud and a little sad.
    That is a dang big bamboo sprout!

  2. Little sprouts and big sprouts. Kick 'em down. They'll be back.

  3. Amazing thoughts, indeed. He's a philosopher.

  4. My two oldest grandchildren have talked to me about death too and they mostly just seem to be worried that I'm going to die because I'm old. I'm not sure they have realized that it's going to happen to everyone, but I'm sure those questions are coming.

  5. I know you know this, but you are truly blessed! Grands can make this mixed up jumbled up world a whole lot better. I'm so glad you have these deep talks. You know he'll never forget them!

  6. It's really incredibly special the way you converse with Owen, the way you engage his ideas and questions and help him understand how smart and full of possibilities and art he is. And yes, you'll do the same for Gibson too as you did for your own before.

  7. I love kids that age. They are so smart and perceptive.

  8. Such deep conversations and such precious pictures - the last picture of Gibson sleeping on you just warms me. What more is needed? Sweet Jo

  9. An old soul. He has more wisdom than many 80 year olds.

  10. It's amazing how kids work things out. You can hear their brains churning in those questions, figuring out the world. I'd say Owen has it pretty much figured out. The important stuff, anyway.

    That is NOT a sprout!

  11. Mel- I think that children are very, very thoughtful. I love the way their minds work. I love having them tell me what's going on in there. It's an honor.

    Denise- No kidding. Sure will.

    Jo- He can be. And then he's all crazy wild boy.

    Lois- Owen has told me so many times, "You pretty old, Mer." But then compared to his great-grandparents, I'm spry and halfway young. He can tell the difference. I think he may actually have referred to them as "crusty."

    Jill- Ain't it the truth?

    catrina- I am sure that somewhere in his soul, he will not forget.

    Angella- It's a little easier, I think, to do this with grandkids because your time with them is special and focused. And that is truly one of the most joyful things about being a grandparent.

    Ellen Abbott- They just are. Seriously.

    Elizabeth- Like your boys. It's so sweet to me that I have these two boys now and often wonder how much they are like yours.

    Sweet Jo- And he will not be doing that for much longer. But until then...

    Birdie- He sure does use the brain he has.

    Steve Reed-Yep. You can hear the wheels turning.
    And that is a rather large sprout.

  12. The landscaper wants to put some bamboo in the back yard here. I am getting a bit wary about that in view of your having to kick bamboo all the time. Can be highly invasive, right?


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