“Mom, I brought snacks.”
Lifting my head from my tilling work of the potato row, I smiled at my son. “Really? What’d you bring?”
“Pistachios. Do you like pistachios?”
Passing me, he promptly dropped to the ground and wrestled to open the canister (our fall purchase from his sister the Girl Scout). “Can I have some of your water?” he asked.
“By all means. We can share. Your pistachios for my water.”
Returning to my task of tilling dirt for the addition of our compost–the compost he was supposed to be shoveling into the row but had since abandoned, I noted, “So I gather you’re on break?”
“No, I’m not on break.”
This gave me pause. “No?”
“No, I’m just eating pistachios.”
“But you’re not working. That’s what we call it when you stop to eat. It’s called a break.”
Adamantly, he shook his head to the contrary.
“Do you intend to shovel and pop nut shells at the same time then?”
“No. I’m just eating them.” He looked up. “Want some?”
Giving in to the futility of the conversation block, I replied, “Sure.”
He reached up and plopped an already shelled nut into my mouth. That is good. Straightening, my lower back screaming tight, I decided break or no break, this was as good a time as any to sit down and eat nuts. I lowered myself down to the ground next to him and stuck my hand out.
He deposited another already shelled nut into my hand. “Here ya go,” he said — service with a smile.
“Thanks.” Running through half the can, we talked about nothing in particular, content with our simple enjoyment of tossing shells over the potato row (they are biodegradable after all, and it was fun to aim for the variety of holes in the dirt).
“He throws, he hits–scores!” My son cheers. “And the crowd goes wild!”
I’ve heard this chant before, though I can’t place my finger on exactly where, and delight in his gardening-turned-sports-drama. No TV, no DS, no itouch…just us, hanging out in the garden on break (or whatever he thinks we’re doing).
It was nice. Easy, simple. Just plain old-fashioned nice. Looking at him, the shells piling up, I asked, “Can I have a kiss?”
Without hesitation, he leaned over and planted one smack dab on my lips. I smiled. “Thanks.”
I don’t receive too many of those anymore, not with him growing up so fast, his self-conscious awareness as his buddies look on…
And I miss them. I miss him. No longer as exciting as an afternoon on the playground with his friends, a play over with his neighbors, an afternoon of football and chips with his dad, I take what I can get. I’m sensible. I accept the changes.
Later, when the game ends and he snuggles up close to me on the sofa, I remind him one day he’ll whisk me across the dance floor when he’s taller than me–
–to which he responds with a shy yet delighted roll of his eyes. “Mom…”
I grinned and gave him a squeeze. “Sorry.” But that’s the way we moms roll.