Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Rogue Okra

This is our second year of planting and maintaining a vegetable garden.  Our garden consists of five large wooden boxes filled to the brim with top soil and cow manure.  One box contains herbs and lettuce.  Another has neat rows of onions.  The third has potatoes and bell peppers.  The fourth box is beginning to show signs of zucchini and okra sprouts.  The fifth box has just been planted with cucumber and tomato seeds.  The boys love to help plant seeds and pull weeds.  By the time they finish helping in the garden, they are covered in the dark, rich soil.

A few weeks ago, Son #1 and Son #2 were helping us sow seeds in the first and fourth boxes.  They carefully dug holes with their fingers and gently covered the seeds.  Periodically, their dad would shout.  "Get away from the fire ants!"  The boys would obediently scamper away. 

We finished pulling weeds and planting lettuce seeds in the first box.  Then, we moved on to the fourth box.  The kids jumped up and down, begging to plant the zucchini seeds.  We patiently helped them space out the seeds in the box.  Next, we opened the package of okra seeds.  My husband and I discussed where to plant the seeds while the boys investigated the onion plants. 

When we had made our decision, we called Son #1 and Son #2 over to the box.  They held out their little hands as we placed a seed into their palms.  Son #1 meticulously dug his hole and placed the seed inside.  He carefully covered the seed with the extra dirt and smiled proudly.  However, Son #2 threw his seed into the middle of the box.  Then, he laughed with delight and shouted.  "I DID IT!"

My husband and I looked at each other in shock.  We searched the box thoroughly looking for the wayward seed.  I smacked my palm to my forehead.  Our grand and organized plan for the garden was awry.  My husband got up from his knees slowly.  Then, he wryly commented.  "Well, I guess we're going to have a rogue okra plant in the middle of this box.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Underwater Cartoon

One afternoon, the boys tackled each other repeatedly as they sprinted over furniture in the living room.  My husband and I sounded like broken records as we called out.  "Stop tackling your brother!"

"Hey!  Quit jumping on the couch!"

"You guys are going to get hurt!"

"Go outside!"

All our practical "suggestions" went in one ear and out the other.  The boys continued to race around the house as if they had been given espressos and a brand new puppy.  Suddenly, we heard a crash.  Then, a little voice began to cry.  Son #1 sheepishly peered around the corner as Son #2 jumped up and down sobbing hysterically.  My husband and I listened sympathetically to their sad and dramatic story.  We nodded our heads and furrowed our brows.  When our sons were finished telling their story, we lectured them on the importance of obeying your parents.  (See requests above.)  The boys hung their heads as we asked them the final question.  "Are you going to obey  next time we tell you to stop the monkey business?"

"Yes."  Son #1 replied quietly.

"Yeth."  Son #2 echoed.

"Good!  Now stop running around the house."  We stated firmly.

The boys walked to the living room and began to quietly play with their cars.  Soon, they were investigating the jogging stroller parked in the entry way of the house.  Son #2 climbed into the seat.  Son #1 buckled the harness gently.  Then, Son #1 began to push his younger brother around the living room.  One thing led to another and soon the boys were flipping through channels looking for cartoons.  Lingering tears trickled down Son #2's right cheek.  All of a sudden, a cartoon with colorful, singing fish in an underwater world appeared on the screen.  Son #2 laughed aloud as his tears disappeared.  Son #1 poked his head into the stroller and quipped observantly.  "I guess diving shows make babies happy when they get hurt."

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Moon

Saturday evening, my mom and I took the kids for a walk around her neighborhood.  The air was thick with the scent of fresh rain.  Puddles dotted the intersecting roads and sidewalks.  The sun was slowly setting in the distance leaving streaks of orange and pink underneath the fluffy layer of rain clouds.  My sons stomped their feet in the water as we strolled through the streets.  We investigated the newly constructed houses and peered at the rolling hills beyond the neighborhood.  We even stopped to talk to neighbors along the way.  As we meandered past a tiny park in a cul-de-sac, Son #1 looked up into the sky and shouted excitedly.  "Look, Mom!  I see the moon!"

A crescent moon hid behind the wispy edge of a cloud.  It appeared briefly in the dusky sky before being covered by another thick rain cloud.  Son #1 gazed up at the moon in awe.  His hands were tucked into the pockets of his jacket but his feet danced with delight.  "Did you see it, Mom?  Did you see it?"  My eldest son asked as he wriggled with joy. 

"Oh, yeah.  I saw it."  I said sweetly.  "It was really pretty."

Son #2 began to look around.  He was curious about our conversation and wanted to join in the fun.  My youngest son watched as his older brother tilted his head back to peer at the moon again.  The thick clouds rolled away once more to reveal a sliver of the moon.  "I see the moon again!"  Son #1 called out.  Son #2 leaned back as far as he could and scanned the sky for the elusive moon.  Then, he caught sight of it and cried.  "Oh!  Look!  Da moon!  I see da moon!"

As we walked back to my mom's house, the boys repeatedly tried to spy the moon.  When they were successful, they would call out.  "I see the moon again!"  It became a game of hide and seek as the clouds obscured the moon for minutes at a time.  Eventually, the clouds would move on in the sky and the moon would reappear as bright as ever.  Finally, we arrived at my mom's house.  The boys were exhausted from our walk around the neighborhood.  They rubbed their eyes sleepily and climbed into their car seats.  Once they were buckled in, we drove off to our own home.  As I drove, I could hear them whisper to each other before falling asleep. 

"Do you see the moon?"  Son #1 said quietly to his younger brother.

"Yeah.  Da moon."  Son #2 replied dozing in his car seat.

The moon's light gently provided a slight glow in the night sky.  The boys slowly drifted off to sleep.  Soon, all that could be heard was the tires rolling down the road and their soft breathing.  Their little faces leaned onto the seats as the moonlight once again disappeared behind the clouds in the sky.