Sunday, March 6, 2011

For Just a Little While

A snippet of poetry kept going through my head yesterday.  The whole poem, "Rock Me to Sleep," is pretty dark and had no bearing on my thoughts.  It was the first line, "Backward, turn backward, oh Time in thy flight.  Make me a child again just for tonight," and the wish wasn't for me. 

One thing does lead to another.  I went out to check on the chicks.  There are four now, two stripey and two white.  I thought it would be nice to give the girls some greens, and went on out to the garden where the weeds are growing like...weeds.  Before pulling fresh treats for the hens, I decided to divest a few more of the planting tubs of the accumulation of dead weeds from prior years.  It became a mission to finish all the tubs, but as I came to the last two, tendrils from the corner wisteria kept tangling in my hair.  Fine.  So, grabbing the clippers, I pruned the wisteria.  There were still the two tubs.  By this time my back was beginning to scream, but I'd gotten stubborn about the project.  What really kept me going, though, were the boys.

One of my neighbors has three sons and a daughter, as do I.  I believe the oldest boy is in his last year of high school, and he had friends over yesterday.  While out in the garden, I heard whooping, laughing, yelling back and forth, and the sound of toy guns firing.  I could tell from the voices that these were young men, surely shaving by now, and probably very cool at school, but they were having the best time playing like little boys amongst the trees and rocks in the pasture.  It made me ache for the time when my sons were children, playing self-invented games, laughing and chasing each other.  "Backward, turn backward...."  I wanted to kiss boys' grubby necks, hear them call me Mama, empty pockets of things only boys would treasure (I'd learned never to empty those pockets in the dark, and to reach in very carefully in case something was still alive).  I wanted to put band-aids on scraped knees, and have small arms around my neck again.  I wanted to scrub dirty-boy rings from the bathtub.  I wanted to give and get good-night kisses as I tucked them in bed and say, "Good night, sleep tight.  Don't let the bedbugs bite.  Wake up bright in the morning light to do what's right.  Good night!"  "Backward, turn backward...."  Listening to the boys next door brought back a flood of memories and, memory being selective as it is, I chose all of the good ones.  I don't really want to go back and have a do-over.  I wouldn't change a thing about the men my sons have become.  I don't need time to turn backward; I just enjoyed listening to those happy voices and revisiting my sons' childhood. 

And I got all the tubs weeded and the wisteria pruned, and I gave an armload of greenery to the chickens.  The chicks are doing well.  It was a good day.


Cally Kid said...

It has taken me a couple of hours to catch up on the blog but it's good to have your company again as I sit here on the graveyard shift on Wake Island....again. I can sympathize with your fears of isolation during your discconnect from the world during storms. For the last 3 weeks here we've only had dial-up speed internet and then only sometimes and only in limited spots on the island. As of now, we have special internet for our work effort and I can now connect with you and the world again. I am so excited to see that you have new Silke members. That is so cool! As for the oaks? On a positive note, a lot of people would love to have all that firewood. My regards to you and all the domesticated / wild Farview creatures.

Bo said...

Good to have you back, CallyKid! You are missed and thought of always.

Jennie Bolen said...

I forgot you have 3 boys and a girl, just like me. I don't even want to think about this being over yet. Definitely what I needed to read to keep my priorities in check though, enjoying every minute of these little ones because with time going as fast as it has lately, I can't even imagine how much faster it's going to get. This was a the perfect post to start my morning with the kids, especially considering my little one, Nathanael, was sick all night. :( Have a great day Diane, Say hi to Bessie Anne for me. :)