20 August 2009

while the grass grows shorter

today is yesterday. i am sitting on the front porch---the "swing porch" as Eli calls it. he is carrying a stick, marching around in rain boots despite a perfect blue sky to match his t-shirt. there's even a little breeze here in the shade this time of day (toward evening). on the swing, i can sit with a clear view of him as he pushes his toy lawn mower up and over long blades of late summer grass.

for amusement, i am wearing his straw cowboy hat with the sheriff badge on the front, pulled tight under my chin with a leather string and a smooth brown bead. my shirt, a st. patrick's day green and not exactly maternity, is pulled snug against a tummy that is serving double duty; currently, it's an incubator and a bookshelf.

the stack of books: Cold Tangerines (a birthday gift), The Time Traveler's Wife (a novel from the library), and a pocket-size decorating book called Old & New, is for later. they balance in wait of being opened, should Eli's lawn-cutting take as long as i suspect it will, considering his little legs and all the distractions of bug and rock and things to shake a stick at. and the fact that he's using a bubble mower.

the real mower hums from behind the house. Eli is back up on the porch with me now, plucking strands of lavender from the pots and pressing them to his small sweet nose. baby pumpkins spill across the ground just beneath us. we dumped our decaying halloween pumpkins there last november and forgot, until a month ago when twisty, thick mystery vines and curling leaves the size of dinner plates began to emerge. there are three yellow-orange globes nestled quietly in the grass among the chaos of sprawling green. they are growing just a little bit every day.

i am craving fall. i always seem to be eager for the next season a month before its arrival. i think i grow tired of too much sameness. this lawn has already been mowed too many times, the same precise pattern of long, neat rows until they weave around the sunflowers at the edge of a vegetable garden now wilted from august heat.

i don't have nearly the second trimester energy that i had last time, though my nesting instincts and desire to feather this place are just as strong. i attribute the lethargy to choppy sleep by night and chasing a busy, mess-making toddler by day, added to the full-time work of growing a baby.

our floors are badly in need of sweeping, but we are enjoying our last summer as three, and Eli is getting used to the idea of a baby as much as a two and a half year old can. he is sleeping in a slightly bigger bed now, occasionally foregoing diapers, and starting at a little school a couple of days a week. as for me, i am trying to relish the baby that's still left in him, not pressing him to grow too fast. he is small for his age, so that makes it easy. and he still likes lullabies at night and being hugged tight when he's scared. he still needs help figuring out which rain boot goes on which foot. and he still requires my hands to hold whenever walking down a lot of steps to mow the lawn another time before the end of summer.


Anonymous said...

You are so like me it is eerie...but also makes me proud. Spend all the time you can with that precious little boy...Nonnie will dust and sweep when I get there in November...Love you, Mom

Christine said...

So glad to read your thoughts again! Beautiful as always. Excited for fall as well and all the things coming up - like a new babe for you!

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