This post was originally written in 2016, before we moved, before Elvie was born. The boys were 4, 3, and 1. I never finished this post beyond 9:48–I don’t remember why–but of course I never posted it, as it was unfinished. I found this post a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed reading it, even in its unfinished state.
He was five years old and he could barely contain his disappointment as he stood there, barefoot, in the path between the garden rows. One older brother already had his hands in the dirt, and one little brother was busy making sure his sister wasn’t digging any seeds out of the dirt. I was pulling baby tomato plants out and laying them out to check the spacing. I didn’t look up from my work, but I could see his feet, and I could hear his voice. He has asked what reward there will be for helping with planting, and he’s been told by his father there will be none.
He wasn’t happy with that answer.
Wilting spearmint, an almost-finished cup of coffee, a stray apple, and the two-year-old who’s after it. She’s already eaten an apple this morning, so I won’t let her eat another, yet. She’s contented herself, instead, with peeling off the stickers and placing them on herself.
For the last half-hour I have sat in the oversized easy chair and nursed the baby–the baby that now contorts himself every which way instead of lying contentedly against my chest. A friend said recently that nursing a baby boy is like trying to nurse an alligator. I wrangle him, and Elvie brings me apples until I tell her to stop. Then she brings me “abocados” instead.
I plant seeds in the garden, and then spend the next several days anxiously walking up and down the rows, looking for signs of life.
I am watching for seedlings, but I’m not watching for seedlings, because—as Tolkien observed through his created people, the Elves—the eyes of mankind is always “thinking of something else” , and that “they look at no thing for itself; that if they study it, it is to discover something else […] because it reminds them of some other clearer thing”*; because of the truth of Romans 1:20. I am wandering the garden path, and my mind wanders with it.
this post was written in 2016, never finished, and never published.
We found the trampoline for free on craigslist.
If it were listed in the area we’d moved from, it would have been gone in a flash. But Franklin, Kentucky is a small town and the Craigslist is slow, and the free trampoline was held for us until Jeremy could come back into town and help me get it.
I look out the window because I daren’t interrupt–inside the net is a complete world contained, the world of three boys–Kransmen we call them, tongue-in-cheek–their natural and artificial hierarchy, their roles chosen for now because it must be this way. It will not always be this way.