This morning my parents, the dog Tuck, Nels and I walk Sophie to school. My son is sedate and measured in his walk – unlike his usual spastic running. The sun shines through the apple tree at my neighbors and my dad fetches my son an apple which he holds but won’t eat yet. After we get home I do the breakfast dishes. My mom and I are planning to do some canning (with the tongs, rack, and pot my father so sweetly bought me) so I’m getting my kitchen ready while my mom makes up a grocery list for my father. I ask my dad to take Nels to the store with him; he flat-out refuses. “He’d love to go!” I suggest. “No,” my dad flatly shakes his head. I head back into the kitchen and mutter, “They say it takes a village…” and my mom finishes, “Yeah, a village of girls.”
Soon my mom and I are in the kitchen, canning tomatoes from her garden and listening to “The Best of The Ronettes” while Nels totally fakes it as if he is perennially the Perfect Child – blissfully petting the cat up on the attic bed, putting his boots off and on, holding make-believe with his toys calmly in the corner, putting my buttons back in their glass jar after sorting them (I can only surmise he is keeping his image up for Grandma). Soon there are five pints of tomatoes on my counter and it’s time to get my daughter from school. Out to the beach where we have sandwiches and pickles and my kids run on the beach with their grandfather walking behind.
We get home to naps and some sewing on Nels’ Halloween costumes. Tonight we’ll be barbecuing dinner out at the beach with my folks, then Ralph and I get to have a date together.