Already here / by Christina Rosalie

A little bit of photo booth goofiness for your Wednesday. It's how we started our morning, at the counter and on the couch smooching and giggling, me and my two boys. (Don't you just love Bean's little broccoli top?)

It is already mid June. I can't believe it really. How the time blurs once the days warm up. Buttercups are everywhere, daisies, the first wild strawberries in little glades at the edge of the woods.

The goose is broody. Bean stuck two hens eggs into the warm circle of her nest and there she sits, some patient instinct advising her to hunker down and wait for new life to happen.

The New Hampshire reds we got in the mail a few weeks ago are feeling plucky with a new set of rust colored feathers. They’re in an outside run now, scuttling about, catching bugs. They’re fun to watch. I love the way instinct summons chickenness for them. It’s evident in all the ways that they are: heads bobbing, peeping to one another sociably, grooming their new plumage, and to think they’ve never had a mother.

We’re so different, with our long babyhood, then childhood stretching out for years and years. I watch Bean learn new words. He repeats them, uses them in context. I am utterly enamored with the way he is right now: full of drawings and ideas. His pictures are jam-packed with action: wheels turning, light switches, fire hoses, robots, homes for little mice.

On his bike he’s become a daredevil, skidding to a stop, making dizzy loops around the road, cutting tight corners, riding over the bumpiest of potholes at high speeds. I love watching him ride. I love his yellow thunderbolt helmet and his lightening grin as he passes by, legs going at top speed. He is perpetually dirty this summer. Jam on his shorts, on his chin. Mud on his feet and grass stains. He goes through two sets of clothes a day, easy. Sometimes more.

In the garden we’re mostly done planting. Bean comes down with me in the morning while Sprout naps, and we get an hour or so in before we hear him on the monitor.

This year's crop: moon & stars melons, sugar babies, lemon cucumbers, zucchini, yellow crook-necked squash, potatoes, rainbow chard, yellow peppers, five kinds of tomatoes, purple cabbage, carrots, broccoli, radishes, four kinds of lettuce, spinach, ashworth corn, onions, parsley, dill, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, chives and sage.

As the short growing season heats up, I’ll be planting more flowers, more carrots, more cucumbers for pickling (DH has a ridiculous pickle habit). We never got our act together with the berries, but Bean and I have scoped out a copious patch down by the neighbor’s pond that we aim to visit in a couple of weeks.

We have fun in the garden. I made Bean a tepee out of slender logs. Then gave him a packet of beans to plant, and sunflowers, and pumpkins all around. Today while I was spreading straw he came down to the garden dragging a quilt to hang over the tipi frame. Inside is a quiet secret little boy space full of packed dirt and small rocks, a pine bow for a broom, a magic door. In his bouncy seat, Sprout watches, pleased as peas.

I realize lately that I haven’t written about Sprout much. I expected to have more to say, honestly. I expected it to be harder, to be more of a fight to adjust to life with two boys, but in truth it’s been a breeze. He sleeps. That’s the main thing. And I say this with utter awe and gratitude and reverence because Bean did not sleep so I know. But Sprout sleeps and he smiles and he’s trying to sit up already. He lies on his belly and watches Bean play with matchbox cars and he’s as happy as a little fat clam. He grins and he giggles when you zerber his tummy, and he mostly just feels like he’s been here with us forever. Four of us.

I know this post is all over the map. I've been working on my book every night after the boys go to bed, more words there, less words here I guess. But I have questions for you today. A little bit of informal research.

What does settling down mean to you?

How does marriage change you?

How do children change you?

If you could chose all over again (or if you have not yet chosen), would you stay footloose and single? Why or why not?