We had been hiking on steep trails at Peterson Creek in late afternoon; bright faces, tired legs, ‘I cannot take one more step’ and all the landscape waiting to cling to our eyes. It did.
Tired boys, happy to have overcome steep and hot and slippery sandy slopes, having a cherry picnic right at the top and painting their hands red with juice. How sticky and red can you get, you wonder? Very.
Clouds dripping rain in the distance, kissing the earth and traveling like a colorful gypsy circus all over the land, never to stop, always singing wild water songs, drops drumming on thirsty, dusty land… never to stop, never tired of traveling, the water circus…
We started on a trail by the creek; I crossed a bridge to the side we’ve never been on, they crossed the creek… shady and cool, weeds growing high as trees and smells growing with them, intoxicatingly sweet with every step.
Is the park going to make us allergic like last spring? No. Remember, mom?
I remember. The trip had to be cut short, jolly boys turned into jelly boys, lying on green lawns, overcome with sneezes and itchiness and drowsy arms and legs not able to carry them home.
Maybe if I don’t think allergy, it won’t happen. Right?
We waited until after five to step out. The afternoon of writing for mom and boys; old poems revived, new stories by boys, with boys, and chuckles to mark this funny thing and this and that…
Lunch was a big crunchy salad from the garden and vintage records… The Beatles and Elvis and all the stories of why they were so good; hungry boys listen to stories, eat and laugh. Now about that guitar in the basement… and the one in the office. A carousel of laughter… Lunch is green today. It grins and plays.
Late morning saw boys building Lego rockets and castles and matching astronauts with fantasy creatures in a game that had everything in it… The game was never better, they said; it must be the wild mixing of characters.
Transcending the Saturday tradition, we had pancakes for breakfast.
Please? Pancake morning again? Yes, again, please? OK.
Raspberries too, please? Yes, plenty. If you bring your manners to the table this time.
You mean with the pinky up? Laughter, silly laughter, the wildest bird of all, with a nest right in the middle of the dining table… snickering boys, table manners falling apart before they reach the table… boys are boys, mom, we are not dainty.
They came running, like they usually do, as soon their eyes peeled open. Sleepy feet on the floor, plop, plop, seeking cuddles, trading cuddles for all those forgotten, lost dreams.
Morning crawled in… birds songs and a breeze woke me up. I moved slowly, tippy toe… never wake sleepy boys, just take a peek to see them sleep, people-to-be… dreams and sighs and fresh faces lumped into sweetness that is sweet even when it’s naughty…
It is seven past, all is quiet, open windows with drapes fluttering as if the house is asleep and breathing… It is. Good night.