Monday, April 1, 2024

More Fun Than The Law Allows

The boys were dialed up to eleven on the one-to-ten scale last night after a full day of candy, Easter basket surprises, playing with their cousins, getting to hang out at Mer and Bop's house and watch the basketball game with their dad and granddad and mama, and just general all-around joy. Vergil and Jessie took them to get their baths which is always better here because of our big tub and my collection of floating ducks and were very patient and calm with their children as those two wild and crazy dudes pretended not to hear a word their parents said and did everything within their power to extend the joy for just a little longer. 

Dear god.

Anyway, they were finally clean and in their sleeping pants and they allowed as how I could read them a few books and August picked out two- Tarzana, and The Trouble With Mom, both by Babette Cole, and Levon picked out Camp Rotten Time by Mike Thaler. The boys are going to go to a sleepover camp for a week this summer in North Carolina where their daddy went. Vergil's stepfather used to be one of the owners of the camp and it's the same place that Jessie and Vergil got married. It started life as Black Mountain College, a very historical place all on its own and it's a beautiful place. While they're doing the camp thing, Jessie is going to be a camp nurse and it all sounds pretty cool. After we read Camp Rotten Time, I asked the boys if they had any worries about going to camp like the kids in the book had. 
"NO!" They shouted. 
I didn't think they did. 

Then they were settled in their little floor mattress beds and Sophie cuddled up with August and they were asleep before I got to the door.

And then the grown-ups partied well into the night (haha!) and watched the very first episode of Northern Exposure together as Jessie's been wanting to watch it again and she wanted Vergil to see it and she knew we've been watching it. I enjoyed it as much as I did a few months ago when Glen and I began our leisurely trip through the series which we are still on. Every time Marilyn or Chris came on the screen, Jessie and I would sigh. "Oh, Marilyn..." 
"Oh, Chris..."
We love who we love. 

And then I went to bed, completely exhausted. I got up a little earlier than usual this morning, knowing that the kids had probably been up for quite awhile and  pancakes were on the menu for breakfast. I was still tired when I got up but once I got started in the kitchen, the busyness and sense of purpose and some caffeine kicked me into gear. Vergil had to leave to go home early because he had to work so it was just the five of us. The boys were charmed with April Fool's Day and were trying out every April Fool's joke they could think of. Some were admittedly better than others. My favorite was when Levon said, "Mer, I don't like your pancakes," and then a split second later yelled, "April Fool's!" 

The next few hours were spent with Jessie trying to get them ready to leave. They had a plan to meet a friend of hers at the Wacissa and by the time they left the house, there had been blatant promises of Rachel's coconut cupcakes as bribes. Before they left, though, they let me read them one more book, this one picked out by Levon- Amos and Boris by William Steig. I can't tell you how much it pleases me that he loves this book so much. It's such a simple story and yet each time I read it to them, I find something new in it to think about. And I believe that the children do too. 
There's a part in the book where the little mouse, Amos, who has built a boat and gone to sea in it, finds himself so overwhelmed at the beauty of the night sky and the ocean, rolls off the boat. 

Levon said, "What does that mean? 'Thoroughly akin to it all.'"

And I tried to explain it to him- that all things in the universe are connected and although I did not use the phrase "all is one" I tried to convey the deep and sacred feeling that I had gotten several times while doing psychedelics that all is indeed one and that every bit of every thing is part of the whole of it. Not easy to explain to a six year old. Not easy to explain to an adult who has never had this experience. Levon said that he understood that but why was Amos so overwhelmed and I told him that I, too, have had moments of understanding that and it made me feel overwhelmed, too. That it was amazing. The conversation took less time than writing it here has and of course there was no mention of mind-altering substances but I hope that he will remember some of it and ponder it in that huge brain of his. 
And this is the same boy whom I had asked earlier what he thought he'd look like when he got older and he said, "Elvis Presley" without missing a beat. 

Eventually, Jessie got everything packed and loaded up and the boys out the door in their bathing suits with that promise of cupcakes and that was the end of the Easter celebration. 
Poor Jess. She was exhausted by that point. 

And I have been lazy as a horse rolling in the green grass today. I managed to drag the hose up to the front porch and water those plants. One of my begonias is blooming. 

I just that dusky pink color. It reminds me of the old ladies I knew when I was a child and I'm not sure why. Did they wear rouge on their cheeks that was the same color? Did they wear dresses of that shade of pink? I don't know but it's lovely to me. 

My wild azalea is finally allowing its buds to open. 

There are not many and there won't be but that's how this particular plant is. And what is that color? It's not quite orange and it's not quite coral. It has both of those elements in it as well as some vague pinkness. It is a beautiful color, no matter what we might call it. 

I picked about a bushel of kale, cut out the stems and chopped it up and cooked it with ham and onions and peppers and of course there is now about a palmful of kale. I've got sliced potatoes in an iron skillet which I'll prebake for a little while and then put the meat and vegetables over that and add beaten eggs and cheese. Is there a name for this? It's not a Spanish tortilla and it's not quite a quiche nor is it a frittata. I will bake it so that makes it more quiche-like and whatever it is, it will be good and make us a fine supper. 

I think tonight will be an early night to bed. I plan on picking up those boys after school tomorrow and taking them to gymnastics. I will need my energy. There is no way that I can say that I keep up with them. I don't. But I do like to be at least awake when they're in my care. 

Lily told us yesterday that she'd come upon August lying on the guest room bed and she laid down next to him and said, "I thought you were playing cops and robbers."
"I am," he said. I'm waiting for the robbers to come by so I can arrest them." 
"Oh," said Lily. "That makes sense. I guess I better get up before I fall asleep here." 
"My mom does that too," said August.

Kids will wear your ass out both physically and mentally. 
That's their job and they do it well. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. It sounds like you had a fabulous long weekend!
    We call that potato, meat, veg and egg dish, “ Chet breakfast”. It was named that by our son when he was at the right age to be reading The Hardy Boys series. The Hardy boys had camped out with their friend, Chet, who whipped up their breakfast of leftovers with eggs and our son thought it sounded good. He asked me to make “Chet’s breakfast” for dinner that evening and the name stuck. We’ve enjoyed it many times since as it’s fast, easy, delicious and a great sway to use up leftovers.

  2. I've never been overly fond of begonias, but their pretty little flowers are distinctive.
    Wow, what a hard thought to express to Leroy. Or anyone. Being akin to the universe is not the same as understanding every atom of the universe in every atom of your own being.

  3. Well Elvis Presley did not have blonde/brown hair but I must say that Levon is posing like Elvis in the top picture - using his toothbrush like a microphone. He also looks all shook up. Perhaps you can fashion him an Elvis costume for his next birthday - white and tight with rhinestones and a cape.

    1. I always thought Elvis's black hair was dyed.

    2. I googled it and you are right River!

  4. At this very moment the big cast iron skillet, so old it has the ring on the bottom to raise it up a bit from the open flame of a wood burning stove, is full of sautéed ham, onion, mushrooms, red bell pepper and miscellaneous vegetables. Soon I’ll add eggs, cheese, chopped up leftover pasta and -what the hell - some broccoli cheese soup- mix it all up and cook till it sets on the bottom before finishing it off in the oven. I call it frittata, and it’s what we’re all having for dinner tonight. Margaret

    1. And a postscript to add that I too have a length of that floral print against a blue background above the tub, a remnant found at an estate sale roughly 4,000 years ago; it’s wrapped around a pillow on a big old wicker rocker from Goodwill.

  5. They were definitely amped up. But they recover so fast, long before the adults do. A good time was had!

  6. So much excitement! It would have done me in. That sense of awe and oneness is a wondrous thing to experience and to remember.

  7. A full day and night with my grandkids would tire me out too, I'd spend the rest of the week sleeping that off. Your begonia is beautiful, I could never grow those, either too much or never enough water or something. My mum took cuttings and had a whole back porch full of them in no time.

  8. These are magical days that should be recalled and relived forever. Those are two lucky kids to be part of your exceptional family.

  9. Ha ha, wouldn't it be nice if the cops could just lie around waiting for the robbers to pass by and arrest them!

  10. Well, I'm exhausted just reading this! LOL

  11. That sure would tire me out too! My grandsons love Legos and my basement has lots of Legos so they love to spend time there creating fabulous things!

  12. a very full fun and exhausting couple of days. good thing it only comes once a year.

  13. Those boys are living the best days.They will remember those days throughout their lives. I'm recommending Amos and Boris to my daughter in Australia for the grandchilden

  14. Your grandsons give you great joy. They are keeping you young! If only we could bottle their energy and take a sip whenever needed... Your egg, ham, veggie meal sounds delicious. The Summer camp sounds outstanding and the boys will have stories to tell you.

  15. Oh my goodness how I enjoyed this wander. I love a curious child who questions. They do keep us on our toes, but it sounds as if all of you managed to keep up dancing right along behind them.

  16. 37paddington: the joy and energy and dazzling brilliance of those boys. And what a poetic passage from Ami’s and Boris. I love that you’re reading such beautiful literature to those boys, and having such profound conversations as about the connectedness of everything as a result. Amazing. Wonderful.


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