02 April 2009

observations on a lawnmower.

Our upstairs bedroom has become my favorite spot to sneak away in the afternoons. Especially afternoons like this one, when the clouds are hovering and the thunder is beginning to rumble. Our bedroom is a bit cave-like anyway, but it’s just the sort of room I’ve always wanted. The walls are silver-grey and angled. Our lofty iron bed is covered in white, and is high enough that if I stood atop the mattress, my head would almost skim the ceiling. (I wasn’t sure so I just tried it.) The old grey velvet sofa is for once not piled with laundry to be put away, so were it not for the tangled springs beneath the surface, it would be a perfect place to curl up and read. We have only one very low window draped with something sheer enough that I can see the sky darkening fast.

While Eli naps, I huddle here atop the covers, surrounded by a mound of pillows, and catch up on writing or steal a few pages of a book before he wakes and calls to me again. Last night, I started reading A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. My friend Melissa just finished it and it inspired me to dig out my unread copy. After a few days of sporadic excavating in piles of dusty books, I gave up and bought another copy for $3.60 at the used bookstore.

It seems very still right now, and eerily quiet. I think this is the literal calm before the storm they talk about. I like rain on days like this, when we’re all home and tucked in, Jeremy downstairs with a hot mug of afternoon coffee, working away in his office. The dog is terrified of storms and is nestled deep on his polka-dotted bed inches from his master’s feet.

Not thirty minutes ago, the whole group of us was outside in the backyard, swatting at bees and scraping grass clippings from our shoes against the pavement. With the entrance of spring, Jeremy has resumed lawn mowing, and for the first time, Eli has taken a special interest in this activity. He insists on watching the entire process, as his father weaves even lines up and down our acre lot. Two weeks ago, we bought him his own little toy lawnmower that blows bubbles while he pushes it. He proceeded to mow our entire lawn and our neighbor’s too.

Today, upon seeing Jeremy lace up his work boots in the kitchen, Eli put down his fork mid-bite, pushed his plate away and insisted it was time for him to mow the lawn also. So off they went, and then completed the bonding experience by clinking their cups of Gatorade together an hour later. I do love raising a little boy.

Lightning is flashing now and the thunder is definitely causing the dog to shake downstairs. I know this without seeing him. He is a boy too, but somewhat cowardly.

Watching the grass being mowed twice, simultaneously, (once with a blade, once with bubbles), I couldn't help but feel really proud of Eli for choosing such a great man to look up to. I know he's only two, and maybe at that age every little boy sees their father as the most fascinating person to ever walk the earth, but regardless, their mutual admiration is my very favorite thing to observe.

Every morning the two of them have a few minutes in the office listening to music (usually "Bono" or "Coldplay", at Eli's request). This morning, it resulted in coffee being spilled all over Jeremy's desk--and onto some expensive recording devices I don't know the names of. Eli said "Sorry, dada" without prompting, and offered a hug into the mix of flying dishtowels. In the evenings after I feed and bathe Eli, they watch fifteen minutes of a Disney movie together, bundled up on the couch while his hair dries.

I'm not sure how long this season of Jeremy working from home will last---though we've never known anything different---but I know there's something important and possibly rare about Eli having the chance to begin and end every single day knowing how much his daddy loves him. Even when the coffee spills.

*better point out in case my mother is reading, he's not as close to the street as it appears. there's a little hill, and then a ditch filled with leaves.


clairestrebeck said...

soooo cute. I love it.

lisa said...

loved reading this :) the first part i could picture everything and felt like i was there with you cozied up in your house :) and second part with eli mowing - SO sweet!

Melissa said...

How wonderful! Eli is precious. :)

By the way, thanks for the link!

Christine said...

Oh, sweet little guy! I love Eli and his cute little bubble mower. And his taste in music :)

Anonymous said...

O.K....Mia peed in Jeremys guitar case and you gave her to me...Eli spilled on Jeremy's "expensive recording devices"....when can I expect him????

Love, Nonnie

jenni said...

I love that you stood up on the mattress to check the ceiling; I laughed when I pictured this.

I added A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to my to-read list - it sounds really good.

Eli & Jeremy are so cute together, especially mowing the lawn. :)

Anonymous said...

Bubble Mowers are the best, except for maybe, the awesome toy chainsaw that has a rip-cord and vibrates! If Jeremy takes up sawing as a rural habit, you might have to check into that!

Your post brought back wonderful memories of my husband with our three children when they were small. Nothing better than hero worship that happens between little people and fathers who are godly men. Amen to that!

Julie R.