I crack open a pomegranate, one of two I will mine as a surprise for my daughter. She loves pomegranates but doesn't have time to laboriously pick out the tiny tendrils. The two little boys are off among the bushes, weaving in and out as if they are tigers in an African jungle. They don't have the words to express what they appear to be doing, but with their small size, and the side yard covered in almost-tree size bushes, the way they move in and out, something imaginative is happening.
But when the pomegranate cracks, it's as if their sense of smell or sound is so keen, all is forgotten and me, the chair, the bowl, draws them like the pull of gravity. They plunge their grubby fists into the bowl and stuff the red pearls into their mouths; when I break off a chunk, the very tips barely connected to the skin, they rip into the fruit. They even moan at the taste they have come to love--like their mother.
My second thought is have I fed them enough this morning? Is this why they're on the attack?
No, I have taken good care of the little guys. They are ravenous because we have been outside all morning.
For two glorious days, my Grandma-nanny self and the little rascals have lived outside, only going inside to prepare lunch and to lay down for crib-naps. If it would have worked, we would have brought out the sleeping bags. We've brought the high chair out and dined on the patio table. We've spent hours on the trampoline, under the trampoline and climbing in and out of the wheelbarrow and the water table.
We've dragged blankets to put over the climbing dome, blankets to change diapers on and blankets to lay in the pretend tent.
There've been tomatoes to gather, raspberries to find, and peppers to pick.
They wrestle, they chase, they giggle. When a helicopter flies overhead, they point and go into DEFCON 3. The passing sound of the garbage truck invokes the same attention.
And the dirt!!! So much dirt. In the sandbox and in Mommy's garden. They've shoveled and moved enough dirt to fill several miniature dump trucks and loaders. Sand has been moved to the grass to the porch steps, thrown into the window well. So much misplaced dirt, I moved the broom and dustpan to the outdoors too. So much dirt that before naptime, I pull off their clothes and throw them in the tub. They love the dirt, they love the bath, they love the outdoors.
I love the outdoors too and wonder why I am not, when home, living outdoors?
Ah, the answer comes so easy--because I am not trying to wear out three-year-old and one-year old little, adventurous, energetic boys.