OURS, EASY DAY EDITION
Today, we did things.
We talked in the morning, awake early, able to linger a while because Sunday mornings are usually spent at Grandma’s. She thought I had forgotten to tell her to get ready for school, Monday-style. So, we laughed at ourselves and talked some more.
A bath happened for her while a bath happened to The Tank. Both needed water and soap badly. I’d like to vacuum the small person now and then, but she’d object. I came home from the car wash to a damp but clean and dressed baton-twirler. She lounged upstairs, I fixed my hair, and surprised her with the schedule again: the recital was at one, not six, as she’d thought. Her nerves had to catch up, rattled by fewer hours to mentally prepare herself for standing in front of a crowd.
She was awesome. She’s always awesome.
We had ice cream after, with Sissy and Daddy, more than I had planned, but we got through. Spending an extra bit of time with those two sisters together makes almost anything okay. I watched them tease and giggle, and imagined future families for them. They have each other.
We did not do anything that we did not want to do. We could have caught the last of a reception for the passing of a family friend’s husband, but my small person asked to stay away. She said that today was not a funeral day, but a home together day. In those clear words, she convinced me to drive straight home and take up residence in the back yard.
She fetched her favorite neighbor, and they arranged the contents of the utility trailer to suit their needs. A flashlight, some blankets, and the iPad, and they were set. All of this happened with intermissions of trampoline-jumping and wrestling one another ruthlessly. Her favorite neighbor always wins, but that’s one of the reasons why my small person likes her so much: she’s the “toughest girl in the whole school, even fourth and fifth graders, but she’s actually nice.” An alliance with a badass who will play dress up, and makeup too? Priceless.
I got restless about a delayed oil change and just did it. Those four hundred miles over target were fraught with anxiety on behalf of the beloved Tank. She needs care, and she’s my responsibility. My very helpful cousin would have done it tomorrow, but I had time today. Now, I know that the uptake sensor is in a very inconvenient place near the filter, and the drain plug needs careful watching. It crawled away for a very long time today, and hid itself on the ledge of the skid plate. Naughty drain plug! I spent far too long under that Tank looking for the tiny acorn-cap sized thing in a sea of grass full of actual acorn caps.
That same cousin arrived during my small person’s second bath, to deliver some lovely mushrooms. Morel was a word I did not know until I was a teenager, because we didn’t eat any other mushrooms. When I found out that the things my Papa carried home from the timber in grocery sacks overflowing were a pricy delicacy, I thought it was a joke.
We ate them every day until they disappeared from the leaves under certain trees, always the same way, battered and fried. I never got tired of them, but the idea of people in city restaurants getting excited over little slivers of regular old timber mushrooms in their expensive pasta made me feel a little sorry for them. They could have come to Gram’s any night in April, or whenever the mayapples came up, and had all they wanted. We gave away more than we ate, because these mushrooms do not keep. Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll cook up a batch and remember never getting tired of them and never getting enough, no matter how long mushroom season lasted or how full those paper grocery bags were.
Tonight, we ate fruit for supper. It’s spring, and nothing else suited the day.
I soaked the motor oil out of my hair and from under my nails. I squished apologetic expensive conditioner through my hair after the bath. Maybe tomorrow my hair will forgive me for the dust that caked into oily mud at the end of my ponytail and the unscarved part of my bangs.
Now, we are back in bed. My small person is watching something scandalous on YouTube, which I know because she tilts the screen away from me and wears her headphones. Her tastes run mild, but I furrow my mommy-eyebrows at certain shows. She’s happier to get away with following the online programs of cute teenaged boys who play video games and banter without using actual bad words. If that’s “getting away with”, I’m happy, too.
We are tired, but not worn down. We are happy.
We have spring. We have mushrooms, and more mint than we could ever need, and the irises from The Old House are going to bloom this week. I haven’t seen them bloom since 2001 or 2, the year before I saved these few to transplant before The Old House would be vacant. I knew the neighbors would come with their shovels and wheelbarrows, and they did. These irises never bloomed for me in their new place, but I’m back and they’ve settled in. I don’t know what color they’ll be now, but it doesn’t matter. They’re ours now, and ours is better than mine any time.