Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Good Life

 Although Levon's shoveling stance may be a bit unusual, he gets the job done. In this picture he is digging up fireweed. He'd seen me doing it and then his mama, and he took over the job. Not only can he dig it up, roots and all, but he can identify it which I find pretty impressive. I've always heard that children love to help until they actually can, at which point they stop wanting to help at all. With Levon, this is definitely not true. He can use a shovel like nobody's business. 

Here he is shoveling mushroom compost along with his Boppy to top dress a row where okra is about to be planted. He did it perfectly. He is three years old. Sometimes I think about how quickly children learn from birth and it stuns me. In three years' time a child has learned a language and can have conversations, sometimes knows their colors and their alphabet, knows how to eat at a table, knows the basic rules of civility, knows how to use a bathroom, knows how to ask for what they want, knows how to express affection, anger, curiosity, helpfulness, and is beginning to get a real understanding of humor and also human behavior in general. It's truly remarkable what all they know by such an early age. They've also figured out how to manipulate others, mostly their parents. 
In fact, by the age of three most children know their parents and what makes them tick better than their parents do themselves. 
Every parent on earth can attest to this fact. 

Today was another beautiful day. Cool in the shade and lovely warm in the sun. The new green of the oaks and pecans against the cloudless blue sky was almost too pretty to bear. Jessie had brought the boys out to collect the things they left behind on Monday morning when they were in such a hurry to get home for Vergil to make his work call. Bicycles, helmets, toothbrushes, and other little things. We sat out on the back porch steps and lazed in the light like cats. The boys stretched themselves over our knees and asked to have their backs scratched. We discussed different back-scratching techniques and Maurice showed up whereupon August said, "Speaking of scratching..."
We chatted and laughed. We talked about many things while the sun warmed our heads and the little boys bared their smooth golden backs to our fingers. Soon Mr. Moon came home from the woods and we ate leftovers for lunch. I always feel like Jessie is doing me a favor when they come over and eat leftovers. Eating leftovers for lunch for a few days is okay but one does reach a point. 
And then, for a special treat, there was pie and ice cream for dessert. 
When it came time for them to leave Jessie packed up all the things they'd left and I offered her some rainbow chard which she took and I gave her a few limes and lemons and "oh- here- take some apples- we won't eat all of these."
I remember a friend of mine telling me about how her mother-in-law would show up with all these things she got on sale like toilet paper or spaghetti noodles or whatever and my friend laughed about it and I did too but I understand now. When my children leave here I want to send them away with something. Anything. 
"Here- need a sweet potato? A cup of sugar? How about a plant? Here, I'll dig one up."
It's just a natural desire, I think, to never stop wanting to give to your babies. To provide. 

And so that was our day. Mr. Moon has been back in the garden and back raking leaves to mulch with. Now he's mowing. 
I don't even have a new pie to give him tonight. 
I did cook some collards and kale and rainbow chard to go with even more leftovers that we have in the refrigerator. The bugs are starting to go for the chard and the collards and the kale is getting huge and tough and it's just about time to pull them but damn! The chard especially is so beautiful with its almost preternaturally colored stems of red and orange and yellow. And don't get me started about the celery I planted last fall that Mr. Moon keeps asking me to pull which is just starting to fatten up in the stalk area.
"There's plenty of green but they're no bigger around than pins!" he says. 
"That's not true!" I tell him. "Look! They're still growing! Just give them time!"
"How much time? Years?"
"Oh hush. Just leave my celery alone."
He sighs and leaves my celery alone. He's a good man. 

Life in Lloyd. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Yes, children do learn fast! My granddaughter, Elli, isn't 2 until September and she can use an Ipad better than I can. And she has learned that "I don't know" shrug that she uses all of the time when she's dropped something and can't find it. My sweet grandson, Stephen, her big brother, will fake hug her when he is actually trying to get her away from his stuff. He'll watch us to see if we notice or if he'll get in trouble for pushing his sister out of the way. He is learning patience!
    Has Mr. Moon always been a busy gardener?

    1. August sort of does that hug thing with Levon when Levon gets too up in his stuff. Levon hasn't exactly learned that hitting isn't a good idea. He will.
      Mr. Moon has always had an interest in gardening but it wasn't until the pandemic that he has had the time to actually spend so much time doing it.

  2. I have six grandchildren. The three I brought up were natural gardeners; Laura even has a garden tending route. I used to watch Hamilton swing a shovel and see my dad's rhythm. Ham never knew my dad.

    1. A garden tending route! That's so cool! And entrepreneurial! None of my kids were that interested in gardening until they got older. And now Lily is just almost as obsessed as her daddy. I love watching it.
      And I love hearing about how Ham shovels like his great grandfather. These things do come out, don't they?

  3. I understand that need. On my last visit, I took clothes for my granddaughter, and a snowsuit for next year, and I left my yogurt maker because they were so taken with homemade yogurt, and here, you might as well keep the honey now that it's open. It will just make a mess in the car...

  4. I can sympathize on the celery. There's always at least one plant in our house or garden that I'm defending from Dave, who has decided it's not performing and wants to throw it away. He has a much lower tolerance for plants that need to get established than I do.

    My mother was never one of those moms who insists on giving me stuff when I visit.

    It's funny how Levon looks so little using that shovel, and yet so mature as well.

    1. Glen is centered on production value in the garden. If something's not working, pull it up and plant something else! I'm more into watching things grow.
      My mom wasn't one of those giving moms either.
      You are so right about Levon. I mean, he is a three year old. And yet, he is so comfortable and competent with that shovel that it's almost weird.

  5. Aahhh Levon is so gorgeous. I hope I don't sound like a pervert but I was looking at his thigh muscles and he definitely has them so you can see he's used to digging! And I know what you mean about sending your kids home with stuff. I was in town today and as I was on my way to see the Munchkin I picked up dinner for everyone. I never go empty handed, but I guess that's what being a parent is all about isn't it - until maybe one day when it isn't. My dad had Alzheimer's at the end of his life and every time my brother went to visit him he would ask my brother if he "had enough money for the bus fare"! Ah, God love 'im!

    1. You should see Levon's back muscles! That kid could shovel for hours. He's a strong little guy for sure.
      And you do not sound like a pervert at all.
      So you're one of those mamas too. I am NOT surprised. And what a sweet story about your dad.

  6. I think we all know what Levon did in his most recent past life. he loved it so much it carried over. and yeah, 3 yr. olds are amazing. my brother-in-law's oldest child pitted her parents against each other starting about then causing them to divorce eventually (though there were other factors I believe that was the major one, she's still a real piece of work now in her early 20s).

    we had a few really nice days, cool at night, warm during the day but now it's overcast again and raining which we sorely need.

    1. Whoa! Now that's some major manipulating there! I'm not sure I've ever seen a kid that capable of playing one against another.
      Supposed to rain here tomorrow. Of course. We always get what you had.

  7. I love your insight into the minds of a 3 year old. So true but what resonated and made me laugh out loud was providing for our children.

    We moved in August but prior to that I met my mum once a week for a coffee. Every week there was the eggs she bought for me from her neighbour and maybe produce from her garden or nice coffee she found at a good price. I haven't seen her yet since we moved due to restrictions.

    When we moved my daughter moved into Uni accomodation but in our city. For the first time I was a mother visiting, rather than living with, a child. We try to meet once a week for a walk and I literally can't go empty handed. Hadn't joined the dots together on that one so thank you.

    1. It must be deeply engrained in us, don't you think Liz?
      How sweet that you have a mother who gives and are now a mother who gives too. One day your daughter will probably be the same.

  8. That paragraph about how much children learn in three years moved me almost to tears, because it is so true, but most true of well loved, intentionally guided and generously taught children, whose learning is affirmed as they go. Your family is so very special.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.