Monday, July 14, 2014

Through the Eyes of a Child

I had a very productive weekend!  We ate lots of fresh produce, I weeded and worked in the gardens, and I even re-wound the hose at the outdoor well pump!  Go me!  I am practically brimming with my sense of accomplishment.

And speaking of a sense of accomplishment... our rooster has, ahem, begun to crow about his accomplishments.  The Boy and I stopped to watch the chickens one morning as we began our morning walk .  And he didn't understand why the rooster climbed on top of one of the hens and pecked at her neck.  I was completely unprepared and I panicked, mumbling something about him wanting to give her a baby.  Now the Boy is excited about more baby chicks.

In other bad parenting news, I had the Boy picking berries from the bushes next to the kitchen garden, where I desperately needed to weed.  After an hour, he wanted a break, so I sent him to get water for us.  He came back with...the cocktail shaker, filled with water.  Speechless, I watched him carefully take off the lid, strain water into the lid, and toss back his shot of water.  He said he couldn't find any clean water bottles. 

I let him go back inside as I began harvesting.  In the past, I'd let a few days go by and then panic as I tried to keep on top of the eighteen thousand cucumbers, knowing that the Boy can only eat one a day.  Or, overwhelmed with tomatoes, I would go super lazy and just cook it all for dinner.  (Yeah, I went through thirty roma tomatoes one dinner last summer.)  And I'd still feel virtuous knowing that I was feeding my Boy what I grew.  But I feel compelled to approach the produce differently this summer.  There are no excuses.  I'm not moving in July or August.  I'm done teaching for the summer (probably), and the Boy is in camps for several weeks, learning engineering and computer programming and all sorts of things that I tune out.  I should be canning a few times a week. I should be able to put away several quarts of my amazing marinara sauce, whole tomatoes, salsa, peppers and relish without any problem.  I even have the perfect kitchen for accomplishing it all!  I even want to try doing sun-dried tomatoes.  I need to just do it.

But here's the rub:  life interferes.  Like last week.

The Boy's camp for this past week got cancelled... but I didn't read my email and so I didn't know until the day before.  Oops.  I had doctor and work appointments, and some writing deadlines to meet.  I had to scramble to find something.  Since he was only doing half days, he and I sat down and worked out our schedule for the non-camp days, because I tell you, not much grates on my nerves faster than hearing him, twenty minutes into play time, say, "Mommy, I'm bored.  What can I do?"  He won't like my new suggestion: to go pick berries or tomatoes or cucumbers.

The Boy is finally digging karate again, but last Tuesday, while he was in class, I got word that power was out back home.  We finally got to try out the generator.  The power was out for about eight hours, and of course the temps were bloody hot and humid.  At least it was at night, so the sun wasn't making it worse.  I was hot, but when I went to check on the Boy, he was wrapped up in his sheet, his angelic face relaxed and cool to the touch.  He thought it had been an excellent adventure.

He's a good kid.  We FINALLY picked up my new car this weekend.  He was so well behaved at the dealership, as we did all the paperwork and I got a lesson on how to hook up my phone to the car.  He figured out how to adjust his headrest, and explored all the places a cup could be held.  He loved hearing that this was going to be his first car.  He listened attentively as I explained the merits of driving stick versus automatic, and he is delighted with the rear-view and side cameras.  But, by the time we got home (having stopped for a very late lunch), he'd had enough of the new car, and was quite ready to play Minecraft with Daddy.  So, while they dodged zombies and Endermen (I have no effing clue)  I spent two hours in the car with the manuals.  I admit, I sat there with the windows down, the sunroof open, a nicely chilled beverage, and enjoyed the silence.

There was another storm last night.  The wind and lightning and thunder... wow.  We didn't lose power, but we did have branches down come morning... including the HUGE length of poison ivy that fell right over the entrance to the driveway.  It was close to two inches in diameter, and bushy as any other fallen tree limb, probably ten to fifteen feet in length.  The Boy and I just looked at the branch after I braked, and then he warned in an awed tone, "That's poison ivy."

Thank god for that kid--I'd been about to grab it and drag it off to the side.  I parked, walked back to the house to get boots, gloves, and my gardening shirt*.  I gingerly grabbed the woody part and moved it.  There is still a big broken section clinging to the tree, but at least we could drive through on the way to his invention camp.  He promised to invent a machine that would drag poison ivy away without having to use gloves.  My little hero.

*When you have poison ivy, and you wear a special sun-blocking, anti-bug gardening shirt, the poison ivy can get on the inside of the shirt.  And yeah, they say the specially-treated material will only last 50 washings or so.  BUT WASH IT WHEN YOU REALIZE YOU LEFT TRACES OF POISON IVY ON THE INSIDE OF THE ARM, BECAUSE YOU CAN RE-INFECT THE SAME AREA THAT ONLY JUST NOW HEALED FROM POISON IVY THROUGH THE USE OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS.  Not that I learned this from personal experience or anything.

No comments: