I've been sorta saving up space here, hesitating to post, for this is the second-to-the-last in the ration until the big THREE HUNDRED is reached. And also, next week on the 12th will be the First Anniversary of the first post I ever ventured to send out into the blogworld.
I'd had visions of sorta stretching them out, making the two milestones coincide in one big moment, and perhaps it will work out that they do fall on the same day. But it seems stingy to keep postponing, just because of the maybe. I see the cities flash past on the counter, recognizing so many of the daily drop-ins, and feel bad to dribble out such mingy bits---like standing in the door and doling out the last crumbs in the cookie tin to kind folks coming to call, when I really wanted to have a lovely tea waiting in the parlor.
I'm a lavish-hand hostess, going too far and laying out too much, trying to make things just so, and urging second helpings. So at this moment, straight from an e-mail to a dear friend, a second look at THAT CHILD with the potholder hat:
There are several trees on our daily rounds which have been splendiferous, to make up for all the rest, and we swoooosssh our feet through the piles of their fallen grandeur every day---a dozen times, sometimes. We just keep turning around and going back. We went out with a "leash" yesterday a.m. and it was interesting, and much easier on Granny's back than the hand-holding and squiggling away and chasing down. I just can't chase her fast little feet as well as I'd like, though I DO get going fast. If I fell on the sidewalk, she'd make it to the street before I could get up, I'm sure.
We had our first incident in the grocery store last week---we walk or she rides through in her little push-car without her ever even reaching for those demonically-placed candy displays right down at her eye level, but not this time. And, due to the impromptu (read runaway) nature of the trip, without the leash. I said innocently, I said: Let's go sweep the porch!!! Bright smile and cheerful voice. So we went out the back door, me in shorts and T-shirt, though I HAD worn a long cotton cardigan the morning trip.
What I'd MEANT was patio, but guess who can sort out the words for herself, now? So when I said "get your broom" ---two feet long, with a clump of bristles about the size of Chris' shaving brush---she grabbed my big straw one---fairly new, but my size, and kinda discolored bristles from standing propped outside during quite a long wet spell.
Around the corner she went, as I glanced madly about for her broom, then gave chase. I resolved it was quite time to sweep the actual PORCH, as the old wicker chair that's stood there Winter and Summer for about five years is a GONER, molting big shards and shreds like gray matchsticks all over the concrete. So up I went, and started to sweep. Down the steps with Miss Independence, heading sideways across the lawn to next door. Away I went, as well, but Sweetpea changed course and headed down the drive, onto the sidewalk and for the leaf-pile across it about four houses down. We swished our feet; I said Home; she said OGY---so we went to Ogy's house, met his Grandma and Grandpa, me being so spruced up and all.
Still wagging that broom over my shoulder like a demented soldier.
WAY around to the store, where I decided the heck with it, I'd just pick up Chris' ice cream for dessert; In the door, to the freezer, with a quick detour past a display of little milk-carton boxes holding Goldfish. Snagged one. Now, carrying ice cream, goldfish, AND broom, and with my companion wanting to venture more and more into the depths of the aisles, I grabbed her hand.
She sank, saying "Sit." And sat. I leaned the broom against the cheese display, picked her up, hugged her and the ice cream, grabbed broom. She bent limply in half across my arm, and I had to put her down. Dropped the broom. Almost dropped the ice cream; grabbing it made little finger-dents around the edges of the lid.
Got her by the hand, got broom. She said Sit. And did, then crawled forward, her little hands on that shining, germ-ridden floor. I scooped her up, forgetting broom, which gave her a little thwack in the head with the handle. She wailed. People looked. I was comforting and exclaiming about her booboo, and getting totally weak from the laughing I'd been doing. Now I was sad for the booboo. And I REALLY REALLY had to pee. Which neither the laughing or grabbing or carrying was helping. One bit.
Lost goldfish in the mayhem; don't know where they went. Set ice cream on stack of eggs (my, was I brave to do that) and picked her up again. And broom. Got ice cream in tiny fingertip grip, hugged it to my bosom. She bent again, went down again. By now we're in line behind two baskets. People are looking at THAT WOMAN and THAT CHILD.
I couldn't wait to check out, so back we went to the freezer---any freezer, amongst the butterbeans, for all I know---where we snugged in the wounded ice cream with the little peck-marks all around the lid. Now relatively unburdened with only child and broom to my name, out the double doors. Smacked the broom on the coin machine.
We got out to a little bench in front of a store, sat down, called Chris and said open the back gate. We rounded the corner to see him pushing her little car fastfast toward me. She ran for him. I stopped the car, she climbed in, and I held back the rowdy bushes (partly with the broom, which had FINALLY decided to earn his keep), he drove her home, and I stumbled through the gate onto our own back lawn.
Future of our Nation, folks. Bright it is.