Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Metal Bowls and Wooden Spoons

I don't know what came over me.

Today, I introduced my little man to the joys of banging on a metal bowl with a wooden spoon.

Yes, I know, this is something that your one-year-old has been doing for months now, but so far Gideon has contented himself with far quieter activities. Like yelling.

So he was sitting by some toys in the kitchen that were pulled out of a bottom drawer designated just for him, holding a wooden spoon in one hand and some measuring spoons in another, when my mind turned off and my heart took over and I reached down from my spot at the counter and pulled a little metal bowl out of the cupboard, flipped it over, and scooted it to where he sat on his fat diaper.

Get it, G! I coaxed. Get it! Actually, I scarcely had the words out of my mouth before he began banging away merrily. I laughed as his eyes blinked with each bang, his mouth opened wide in a sort of frightened ecstasy. His head tipped back, blue eyes connecting with mine, I blew him a kiss and turned back to my work, pleased that I had contributed a new joy to his life.

And that is when I think the invisible ear plugs fell out of my ears and I heard what the banging will sound like when my back is turned, when other thoughts will crowd my mind, begging to be dealt with. Chills crept up my back with each bang.

I stopped, tipped my head back with a wry chuckle and closed my eyes. You did this, Elise, I thought.

And then I opened my eyes and saw.

Two big boys, tearing up the yard in their giant boots, huge walking sticks-turned battle staffs clanking together as they whacked and tucked and rolled and leapt to their feet again. And I remembered those same boys as toddlers, sitting near my feet in the kitchen, content to be a few feet away {but no further}, banging merrily on my pots and pans.

I scooped little man to my hip and pointed out the kitchen window at the darkening scene. Corban's orange cap was easy to spot, and Gideon clapped his hands and pointed, waving frantically. The big boys' battle took on a new fervency as they tumbled and leapt for their little brother's delight. And I looked at our reflection in the glass, at wispy red hair and big blue eyes and gap between front teeth, and he leaned his head close, spotting me in the reflection as well.

I'm going to try to remember this, how quickly they grow and leave my side and take their noises outdoors. The quiet is welcome, but how I want to welcome the bangs and the yells and the messes, too! Right now. It's all I have.

I slid little man down my side to the floor where he scooped up the spoon and looked at me questioningly. Make some noise, G, I whispered. I'm happy to hear it.

You did this, God.


Besides, they can't ALL be THIS quiet with spoons and bowls, can they?

8 fellow travelers shared:

Bekki said...

I can just picture G blinking every time he bangs. Too cute. XO

(Little Eliana! It is so fun to see your big ones little.)

Sandi said...

Oh Elise, you always help me see joy in those moments that can potentially go a very different way.

We too are into banging and yelling at our house.

In such a short time the yelling will turn to saying words, then writing them and then analyzing them. It will come so quickly.

My big guys perform for the joy of little one's laughter. It warms my heart!

Ginger@chirgies said...

Hold them near while they still snuggle in... I'm learning.

Just wanted to tell you thank you for the book recommendations...We've been enjoying The Very Best Doll -can soooo relate!, Snowsong Whistling, When Do The Snow Trees Grow... so many good cuddles and stories. Keep them coming. :)

spergerswoman said...

That's fun! I've not braved giving banging toys quite yet...
Hey, I wanted to ask you, where did you get the apron Eliana has on? It lookes EXACTLY like one we used to have growing up. It was so fun to see it on her as it brought back so many memories of when I wore one similar!!! My mom made it for me. Maybe that should be my next sewing project. My girls love to "help" in the kitchen!!!

Rebecca M said...

Sweet, Elise!
And I have to say how much I enjoy your Children's Book Monday selections. Before our last trip to the library, I put several of them on hold.
So nice to have a list of book suggestions that I already know I'm going to enjoy with my kids as you have with yours! Thanks for sharing them with us!

Jennspiration said...

I'm not going to pretend that I didn't just cry just then...they do grow up so quickly. There are days when I think, "when is Ashton ever going to not want me to carry him?" and then I remember that one day he isn't going to want anything to do with I try to embrace it as much as I can. (he may break my back, but It would be worth it!)

Wendy said...

I agree, you always help me see joy in the everyday moments. Thank you!

Laura said...

Oh, Elise. How I've missed your blog. I can't believe how much your G has grown. He's precious! And that's great that he's had only Mama's milk for so long. Thank you for the "Smile" post. So many times, I don't stop and hear Ella. It is definitely worth my time. Lots of love to you!

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