Wouldn't you know that as soon as I made the announcement about the anticipated arrival of the baby bird, some snaggle-toothed link in the food chain would come and steal that little egg right out of its nest. I was so sad this morning, when I went out to perform my daily distant peek-in on mom and egg, to find them both gone. Poor Mr. & Mrs. Dove, I'll bet this is going to be a hard week for them.
This was a tough week for me too for reasons I still can't put my finger on. Some days I wished someone would come and take my baby out of our nest--a nice someone who'd do puzzles with him, feed him snacks, take him to the park, and then return him good and tired. A someone very much like Nana or Mimi. I thought a break like that might help me emerge from beneath the cloud of dreary gloom that followed me to and fro. I used to get overly disconcerted about grey days; now I just try to recognize them for the temporary nuisance that they are and wait for them to pass like bad weather, which they usually do with decent haste. This time, however, the doldrums lingered on and off for several days--listlessness, irritability, dreadful pessimism. I did all the things "they" say to do. I read. I prayed. I breathed deeply. I counted blessings and took a long bath--and still, unshakable blues. Wednesday morning the ring of our bedside telephone woke me up and a very cheerful voice on the other end of the line said:
"Emily, would you be able to babysit my son for five or six hours today?"
First thoughts: I would rather eat lightbulbs. To shorten a long story, I'll just say that I ended up babysitting two little boys all morning (another friend was in a pinch, too,) which I thought would surely push me over the edge of the sanity cliff, but quite conversly, for the first time all week my charcoal heart felt like it was returning to a happier shade of gumdrop pink. Ironic, isn't it? I think the Good Lord, knowing just what I needed, also well aware of the unlikelihood of me getting my stubborn self out to look for service opportunities, brought them to me. It wasn't instant smiles and bliss, but that morning the emotional forecast changed from mostly cloudy to partly sunny. Rebecca and Lindsay -- I'm so glad you called. You thought I was doing you a favor, but truth be told, your gift to me was much more significant.
Even when the gloom hung thick, Henry scattered sunshine (and blocks and toys and DVD covers) during the week. Our funniest moments seem to center around the toilet these days. I find a certain level of absurdity in the fact that I'm ordered out of the bathroom when Henry's taking care of business. "NO! Mama get out!" But I, the adult, who would really prefer solitude, am obliged to include Henry, who, in the curiousity of pottytraining, insists on being privy to those once private moments. He watches in focused fascinaton, then claps and cheers, "Good job, Mom! You did 'em peeps onna potty!" and even reminds me, "ok, now fush (flush) it." It's a celebration every time. And I must admit that as much as I miss the privacy of days gone by, it is pleasant to feel like a hero for something so effortless as producing bodily by-products.
Life with Henry is a perpetual reminder to find joy in small things. I just have to remember to see it that way. He had his first Sweet-Tart candy this week and has developed a consequent affinity for small tablets bearing any resemblance to a Sweet-Tart. This morning, he brought me the bottle of multi-vitamins and told me something I had just heard his dad tell him, "these not Sweet-Tarts, mom. It's bidamins." He also brought me a rubberband this morning and asked me to "Do it piggy tay-ow." I gathered a few of his long wisps (of which there are many--it's time for all of the Williams men to get haircuts,) and bundled them together in a little nub of a ponytail. Henry was utterly tickled about it. He stared at his reflection with apparent admiration and giggled from the bottom of his gut every time he caught a glimpse of the ridiculous nub on top of his head. He didn't want to take it out. I was afraid he'd insist on wearing it to church, but he finally let me remove it and comb his hair a few minutes before we left.
The other day while we were playing outside, he crouched down on his hands and knees and stared at the pavement for several minutes. Wondering what was holding his attention so fixedly, I went over to take a peek. He was watching fastidiously as four little ants made busy circles around a crumb.
Henry likes to spin circles too. At the end of his twirling, he staggers over to me and says, "Hey mom, I busy." (He means to tell me that he's dizzy, but either adjective would be appropriate because unless he is asleep, he is always busy.)
Nate and his green thumbs have been busy too this week getting our garden ready to plant. There was digging, tilling, composting, and plant research and selection to be done...and he did it all!
We're anticipating a plentiful harvest this summer. If you come to visit us we'll make you an open face mozzarella, garden-fresh tomato, and home-grown basil sandwich. If that doesn't entice you to get in your car right now and start driving (which you'll have to do to get here in time for the harvest...we are SO far away. Distance bedanged!) I don't know what else to use as enticement. The hide-a-bed? The train-wrecked bathroom that we'll let you use?
Speaking of, I don't have anything kind to say about that bathroom spruce-up endeavor, so I'd better not say anything at all. Please, think very hard before you decide to wallpaper a room. You will likely be subjecting subsequent tenants to a lot of unnecessary toil, tears and talk that they'll later feel compelled to repent for, in the doing. Think very, very hard about that.
Think even harder about coming to visit us. Love and sunshine 'til next week's installment...