all to himself

An only child this week, Hank has us all to himself. He's stapled leaf crowns, hiked to the yellow spring at Glen Helen, weighed a cantaloupe on the bathroom scale, and has plans to watercolor cards for Kobacker House with RoRo. Every single day he says things that make it sound like he swallowed a textbook whole.

It's actually a myth that cheetahs are the fastest animals, unless you say "on land." Because peregrine falcons can swoop faster than cheetahs can run.
You know our tears look different under a microscope, depending on whether they are happy or sad.

At a recent baseball game he tossed me a smile with a lot of teeth and kept going about his third base business (mostly kicking dust but also directing some traffic and doing a bit of cheering). Set free to run home, his hair would for sure spring wildly to action if it weren't for the helmet. The brain underneath it is never at rest.

Is there a difference between a promise and a deal?
If there was one more day of the week, what would you name it?

His feet have a curious relationship with gravity, like a grasshopper, like a human born with springs.
He mostly skips, and always leaves a trail of stars in his wake.

How did a platypus actually come to be? Like did a duck and a beaver have a baby?
Do you know what one plus two plus three plus four... all the way to thirty six would be?
If we put dust in a jar and shook it up could we maybe create a new universe?

After a post-game treat he cradles his belly. His face is sweet, like ice cream on top of a cone, his chin like a V of geese soaring in the sky above. His head tilts toward mine as he makes eye contact, probably to ensure I'm still listening.

Sometimes I wonder how all the inner parts of my body fit in such a small space.
Also how do we know how deep the deepest part of the ocean is if scientists have only explored about ten percent of all the oceans?

Swallowing textbooks whole does tend to fill a person.
Sometimes I wonder how so many thoughts fit inside his seven year old body.


we needed this

The rain came, finally.
It's ridiculous how fast the wish for water creeps up on you - you spend your whole life being indifferent, except maybe actually annoyed by the inconvenience, and then suddenly, one day, you're all fingers crossed Is that a storm cloud? 
Now that the temperature has fallen and the air quality has improved, with the screen door open we hear all the early morning bird gossip. And the zinnia seeds have sprouted. We needed this.

For the first couple weeks, summer was hot. Our days were fueled by fresh fruit and shoeless feet, but not entirely made on whims. Even with the school year over, schedules seem to hit extra innings - youth retreat and raptor class, science camp and leadership academy, plus all the ball games and swim meets.
Report card messages read things like pleasure to have in class, and camp counselors have already assigned awards for "kindest and most patient."

Tolliver is all about baseball, and beyond the enjoyment of watching him play, the game feels mostly out of my league. I am still being schooled on points versus runs.
He and his buddies were bored one afternoon justtt long enough to realize they could carve pine bark mulch into miniature surfboards, the front porch stained reddish brown from the sanding dust. The boys are all waiting to see their pet turtle catch a wave!

Tuck is writing poetry about his fish and emailing the mayor about his outdoor space ideas. And reading books with the same voracious appetite he brings to the dinner table. Remarkably Bright Creatures, most recently. He played wiffle ball in the rain yesterday, and watched a tiny bit of the Tony Awards with us last night. He spends inordinate hours playing video games and I wonder whether he dedicates all his victories to me.

Looking back through old pictures in an effort to locate a few to share at the request of teachers (for the 8th grade recognition ceremony) I saw things with the softest eyes. The white blonde hair of his youth, his emerging forager's curiosity. I was reminded of building wooden block cities and running warm baths, the captive insects and the homemade cookies, more than a million medicines, more than the rainy days.

Today Hank is singing the alphabet backward and solving brain teaser puzzles, hot gluing rainbow yarn to a wooden unicorn project and solidifying matchbox race track monstrosities. There've been brother skirmishes and balls flying through the kitchen. I feel like I can barely manage the mayhem and the velocity, the underlying hum a perfect pitch of human chaos. Just the song I need.

Everyone is here this week, briefly, and the house is very full of heartbeats. Pleasure to have at home, I think.


booked for summer