I snapped this photo of Anselm’s upside-down-smile during his last monthly update (nineteen months). It’s a face that Clive used to make on occasion, too. Seems like these guys share more than just an aversion to walking!
(At the dinner table)
Clive: (looking around politely) Hey, would anyone like some milk? (Quickly raising his hand) Me!
(Wandering from the living room into the kitchen where I’m working.)
Clive: Mom…Can I have my pen-pie? I have my pen-pie? Mom…Can I have my pen-pie? Can I have my pen-pie, please? Where’s my pen-pie? Mom, where’s my pen-pie? Can I have my pen-pie please?
Mama: Clive, what’s a pen-pie?
Clive: I don’t know.
Clive: All done!
Mama: What do you say?
Clive: (Incoherent mumbling)
Clive: May I E-D-B-C-D-E-F-G…excused.
Mama: (laughing) No, “May I BE excused.”
Clive: Yes, you may!
As a baby, Ephraim was a bit of a loner, protesting displays of affection and usually quite content to be playing on his own.
When Clive came, I was frequently perplexed by his moments of restlessness; how he would fuss and fuss when, for all I could see, he was perfectly fine: fed, rested, warm, comfortable. I can still remember the day when I realized he was restless because he wanted me. I hadn’t had a baby like that yet, and as an infant I carried the same preferences that Ephraim did, so my ignorance was understandable, though still humiliating.
It seems that every time we play outside, Clive is restless and dissatisfied with the activities presented (unless there is water available.) He almost always comes to land in a lap, finally content.
Spiritually, I am trying to learn to be like Clive. There are many times throughout the days, the weeks, that I am dissatisfied and restless for what seems like no reason. If only I could learn to seek out my Father, to be still with Him.
On Monday, we went on an Autumn Jaunt with some friends to Noccalula Falls, in Alabama.
What we grown-ups may call an excursion or a day-trip, the boys call an adventure, and who can argue with them? There was a train ride, a playground, a rock garden, a mini-zoo with a lion and foxes and deer and ponies and rabbits and lemurs and more, 18th-century buildings and more beautiful fall scenery than you could shake a stick at.
The falls are named after a Native American princess who, according to legend, threw herself off the 100-ft cataract onto the rocks below to escape an arranged marriage.
There is a statue of her, there, eternally poised mid-jump. Ephraim was a little concerned for her.
Thanks for the visit, Noccalula Falls! We’ll be back.
Mr. Clive has a tiny little obsession.
Can you guess what it is?
And then I’m supposed to sing the song from the opening sequence.
Once a week, we watch a movie. Ephraim has a few favorites. Clive has one request: “‘Queen? ‘Queen? ‘Queen??”