You'll often find ants swarming the stems and stamens of peony plants. I learn this weekend that the ants "tickle" the petals of these flowers to open into their characteristicly buxom blossoms.
I find myself at the end of the morning today. Sitting at the table. Avery follows Hazel along the back fence. They use sticks to direct the chickens around the yard, princess garb all wind-billowed. We meet there for lunch after tinkering around the yard with hoses and hand shears. Dr. Gooch and I. Our state is having a long dry spell and everything is thirsty. I thinned the carrots, trimmed off a broccoli bunch and plucked two bunches of chard. The chard was sauteed, the carrots and broccoli blanched for hummus dipping. There is a breeze. The house is messy. There are solid friends waiting in the wings and family standing by. The day is alive.
I know this isn't everyone's perfect life, but suddenly, to me, everything felt that way. Perfect. I was somehow embarrassed that all my dreams had come true--a state that always gets me all jittery and I begin to look over my shoulders for someone to saunter in telling me to "look up, cause there's the jig". I kiss him.
Everything is growing around me. Those four hens readying their little bodies with healthful bugs and bits to prepare for egg-laying. Those two preschoolers aggressively letting life seep into their minds and bodies, saturated and satiated with the world we've built for them. The garden. Planted and well on its way to produce and proliferation. We encourage it with a bit of water now and then, but as we eat, sweep, and sleep indoors, the garden continues unaided. Grow grow grow.
I look at the man I married. Yesterday, he pulls off an impossible mother's day with no sleep. With no sleep he post-shift prepared a breakfast of crepes and fresh fruit. With no sleep he arranges a bouquet for the table and urges the children to continuously announce felicitations. A little loopy in his lethargy, he makes jokes in the hallway at church. Everybody laughs. Between nods, he holds my hand and whispers nonsense in my ear during Sunday School.
I just can't forget how he came home and somehow pulls together this dinner. This dinner! He refuses to go upstairs to change out of his suit in the bedroom. He doesn't trust himself that close to the bed. I play dominoes with Seth and try to fit Avery in the fridge. I watch him. I don't know what to do with myself so I begin sweeping. He yells at me to stop and forces me to quit. I do. I just let the waves of the activity of the children in the house wash over me.
Finally we eat. We sit urging the children to finish. I stand up, walk through the swinging door to get this cake, and swinging back in I see him. Finally, he is asleep. We quickly stuff four growing bodies into pajamas. He takes Hazel up to bed where I know he will stay for the rest of the night.
I smile at the quiet, messy house (which I normally never do) and slick up the kitchen. I look up, out the open window, lifting my chin at the breeze, at the crepe paper flowers gifted to me earlier that day.
He is my favorite part of being a mother.
He is the ants that subtle and silent encourage me to keep growing into this role. To open to full potential.
The best mother's day to date.