I had the care of our little guys the other day, who because it was Rosh Hashanah and they had no school, arrived even before breakfast so their parents could get to work. I was going for a bacon and pancakes thing but the outside of our house is getting painted right now and suddenly I was told to run downtown for more paint. A sudden decision had been made to work inside, what with the rain, on the screened-in porch, which I had understood was not to BE dismantled and painted until 2012. But no? We were doing it now? And that meant we would have to move out the whole dining set and the wicker chairs and all 2,000 of my houseplants? NOW?
No worries! replied the paint boss reassurringly. His men would just shift everything from one half of the porch, paint that part, shift it back, paint the other half etc., which sounded fine to me. Then Old Dave finally floated down the stairs at 8:30 all freshly showered and shaven and set to go to work and said “Oh no no. We’ll empty the whole porch for you right now, no problem.” And in came every single thing out there, straight into the kitchen where my faint bacon-and-pancake project was stuttering along. Then a second painter showed up and set up a giant ladder to paint in the kitchen, another project I hadn’t seen coming, so that now all the little tables and the reading lamps and the 2,000 plants brought in from the porch to the kitchen had to be moved again, to the dining room. Suffice to day I could no longer even find the pancake-and-bacon fixings.
“Let’s go to the Pirate Museum and eat breakfast on the way!” I suggested to these grandsons of ours, a little desperate by now.
“Eh” they basically said to that idea.
“Well the zoo then?” I asked. But they didn’t want to go to the zoo either. “Well what would you like to do today?” I asked.
“Explore,” they said.
And so it happened. They spent the next two hours holed up in our bedroom going through every last one of our drawers as they examined coins, old pocket watches, mismatched earrings…. “Is this valuable? What is this, TT, and what is this? And oh I think this is gold!”
I explained that none of it was gold but they were fascinated nonetheless.
Then, much to my chagrin, they came upon something I’m pretty sure I myself hid back in 1985 under that pile of old sweaters: the cruelly shrill and primitive musical instrument known as “the recorder” which the mother of these two had taken actual lessons on when she was nine.
This is the recorder as played the other day by her oldest boy, who is seven:
And here it is in the hands of his little brother, four:
In turn they each lifted it to their lips and blew: notes so ear-piercing it made my fillings hurt; sounds so shrill even they found them unendurable.
(These are people who appear to enjoy the instrument. They’re both deaf. 🙂
And so back we went to lying on the bed and examining cheap treasures from the 1940s.
Along toward noon we brought some nice hot lunch to Uncle Ed who is 90 and looked through all of his old treasures, then worked off some energy at MacDonald’s Play Pace and landed at last back at the boys’ house where Exploration is given free rein, parents being WAY more capable than grandparents at dealing with projects like this one, already well begun upon in their driveway by the time I said my goodbyes. (Ahhhhh… youth!)