Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Boys (or, Postcards from Spring, Part II)

My theme of the coming of Spring continues, viewed through the remarkable lens of Gatorbone. There are more tales of boys than I can possibly write, or at least there are more than I can write before I commence my life as a Great Novelist. Yeah, yeah. I know.

Still, there were some great Boy stories. This dreadful photo (I promise there are better ones to come) is our beloved Lis, holding the darling baby of a friend whose weekend trip had been undone by a flu bug of some sort. I think Baby and Dad were the only ones who persevered, and just to be on the safe side, when we served their supper I gave them ginger ale.

And then there was Vergil. As Ms. Moon said (more or less - I am quoting from unreliable memory), It's not fair to tuck yourself in to our hearts like that and then leave. Vergil and Miss Jessie paired their mandolins to give us a delightful song about children learning to spell through the magic of music. They will probably be horrified to hear this, but it reminded me of good old Mister Rogers, who always talked to children like people, and tried to teach children to think of themselves as such. Go to Ms. Moon's: she has a lovely photo of Miss Jessie and Vergil there, and if you see it you may understand why I could not take a photo of them all weekend. They were as beautiful as snowdrops, and as fresh and as welcome. They stunned me with their beauty, their youth, the perfectly tuned instrument of their young love. They made me think of my own faraway boy, and his love and their family. They took my breath away.

It happened that my own old boy called at this moment, and I could put the phone between two great teachers he's learned from, and he could hear them playing together across a thousand miles and more. I whispered into the phone, "Can you hear them?", and he whispered into my ear, "Mom, put the phone back." And here I am again, in the middle of a story with so much more depth and texture than can be captured here, dipping along its still surface with you like a flock of black skimmers at the beach. You must trust me when I tell you that music came to my sons in the cradle, but their welcoming of it as self-determining individuals is a source of great joy to me. Some of the people in this picture stood as musical midwives, if you will, delivering music as a forever part of the lives of my sons. As verbose as I am by nature, I run out of words here. This is where I have no more than sentimental tears to offer; as soon as he called, I began to cry and could barely talk. I handed the phone to another of his mothers, Miss Lorie, whose kind voice welcome as cool water to him. My boys continue to write their stories, tanks be to God (as an Irish priest would say), they have this amazing village to help them along the way.

There was a pinnacle Boy moment, of course. We were diverted and entertained and often made speechless this weekend by our friend Ro, whose precocity is remarkable, yet leavened with a sweetness of spirit to take your breath away. There were long minutes in Lis's garden while we waited for the birds to come, (quiet, QUIET!) while Ro moved bird seed from the feeder to various preferred locations, each certain to make the birds far happier than the status quo placement. I sat at a small round table with my dear old person and Miss Cathy, and we called to Ro as he passed by us on a mission we couldn't quite see. We called to him, and very quickly he turned and blew a kiss in our direction. It was a fine Boy moment, one perfect moment among many on offer at magical Gatorbone Lake this weekend. I am grateful, grateful. Oh, I am.


  1. Yeah. Magic Part XXXIX.
    Or something like that. Great picture of Ro. He's something, that boy. Oh god, he is.

  2. Perfectly captured boy-moments. I'm so happy you're telling this weekend story in chapters; it helps the memories linger.

    That little Rowan made me smile more times than I can count ~ he is a precious joyful being.


  3. Ms. Moon: I know I'm totally going to run out of numbers before I capture every deliciously sweet memory. That Ro: he is really and truly something. I do wish O could have been with us, too - maybe next time!
    Dear Lulu: I'm so glad you like the format. It's the only way I can think to share the magic, these little vignettes. And as I said to Ms. Moon, Ro was amazing; like you, I found myself smiling over and over again. Next time, Ro and O, I say! Love you both.

  4. Anyone who reminds of Mister Rogers is a good person.

    (In case you don't know, I think Fred Rogers was a living breathing saint among us, truly.)

    And I love the mention of ginger ale as a drink for curing/preventing/comforting sickness. Whenever I was sick as a boy, My Dad would buy ginger ale for me. And, whenever HE was sick, that's what he'd drink himself. I can't drink a ginger ale now without him coming immediately to mind.

  5. My dear Suldog, I do believe most of us reading here have the same high opinion of Mr. Rogers. I always contend that he helped me raise my children, always gently reminding ME to accept THEM as they were, as he always did.

    Funny you mention that ginger ale: I think I was asked to take glasses of tea to the not- or not-yet sick people, but there was a bottle of ginger ale at hand and it seemed like the right thing to deliver. They both looked at me so gratefully that I can only imagine they shared your (and my) sense of comfort in a welcome glass.

    Thank you for dropping by!


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