Grandmon* and the Beezer.
July 20, 2013 § 11 Comments
The Beezer and I grab the plastic bug box, the one with the glued-on magnifier, and hurry outside—it’s not really hot yet.
We hit our usual collecting spot, the space between the air conditioner condensers and the side of building twelve.
We like it because spiders like it.
Most are tiny and fast so most get away, but we trap a black one with white spots. Through the magnifier it is not so much bigger as it is fuzzier. We decide it needs a leaf to sit on after watching it slide around.
At the edge of the woods behind Avalon Apartments I try to teach him poison ivy.
Three leaves, see?
He kicks a clump. I tell him he is so going to get his foot scrubbed when we get inside. Then I tell him about the time I had poison ivy so bad my legs stuck together–which is almost true.
It’s okay, he exaggerates too.
Down the path that cuts between swamp and woods I show him why milkweed is called milkweed. We watch the bead of sap form on the snapped stem. I explain why cattails are called cattails.
He squats, studying a dead spot on the mossy ground, then demands to see the place where I cut my finger on a broken glass.
Then he demands a reenactment of me catching the falling glass and grabbing the cut finger hard. “Why?” He asks, blinking up at me. He is teaching me that everything requires an explanation.
I demand an explanation of the tiny cut on his hand. The story is different each time he tells it. I don’t think he knows which one is true.
Time moves very, very slowly, but in a good way, as if there is no time at all.
The predicted high of 95 is becoming real. We go back into the cool, scrub his poison ivy foot, then window-shop the refrigerator. I remind him we should close the refrigerator to save electricity. “Why?” He asks.
And then he says, “Grandmon, I hear you have a crotch.” I admit that I do, and wonder where he heard about it.
We make his bed.
He stands on the pillow and flings the covers. We find this hilarious! Of course we have to spend some time under the covers; completely under the covers. When we look at the print on the top side of the spread through the batting and backing, red is pink, navy is baby-boy-blue. The blanket over our heads makes a pretty nice sky.
On a roll, we make Mommy and Will’s bed. While we’re up there we notice the plastic box with a broken china turtle in it. (We didn’t do it). We forget the bed and try to fit the pieces together. We feel sorry for the poor, poor turtle. We put him back in his plastic tub before we break him more.
We go sort-of outside to the balcony and run our race cars up the table legs and speak in squeaky voices, the way drivers small enough to pilot matchbox cars would. “Spiderwebs!” he squeaks.
“Oh, no!” I squeak back. (Oh, no! is our favorite expression).The bodies of dead flies and mosquito hawks, collapsed like folded umbrellas, dangle from strands of sticky web; pretty scary if you’re as small as we are.
“Race you!” I zoom down the long diagonal of the table leg and park on the cross brace.
I forget I am driving the exploding car, and when his car crashes me from behind the doors and hood and windshield all blow. “Oh, no!” We pause, while I click everything back together. “The windshield won’t stick,” I say. We stare at it and I try again.
The petunias on the balcony railing are wilting in the heat. The Beezer looks a little too pink. A yellow fly circles us. I remember I’m the adult just long enough to move us inside by wondering what the tadpoles are doing in the tank on the kitchen counter. They’ve been working on back legs and we need to see how that’s coming along.
The tank is murky. We hunt for a flashlight. We don’t find one, but we do find duct tape. It rolls really well on edge. We start out on the floor about five feet apart but end up at opposite ends of the apartment.
We invent the flip-and-roll. It is much more erratic and therefore better. The tape disappears under a cabinet.
The Beezer rushes into his room and comes out with two big trucks. He takes the orange one, boy powered. Mine has a remote control, although it is not that remote. The control is attached to the yellow Tahoe by a short black cord.
We race back and forth, the Beezer’s butt high, his bare feet flailing. Remote control in hand, I gun the Tahoe, but the butt is in the lead. We race from the bedroom where we hit the books—a pile that sits on Will’s side of the bed—to the front door where we twang the door stop in transit.
Back and forth, back and forth. The trucks need a rest. We park them in the garage under the sofa. We admire how roomy it is. No spiderwebs either. We are belly down when Mommy and Will open the door.
We stand up, the Beezer short, me tall. I give them a report on “how Matthew did today,” but I’m not so excited about being an adult again.
* I am Grandmon with an N. It is much grander than Grandmom.