During all of the house stuff we've been doing this summer – scraping, sanding, some carpentry, priming, painting – there were a few times that I ended up having to go way up high on the really high ladders that go up very high. Not my favorite part of all of this. But a few times it was necessary, for example, in order to help Bill nail in the new boards behind the gutter at the back of the house. Or to prime the second floor windows. Ugh. So up I went, clinging to the ladder with every cell in my body, except the few cells that had to carry the paint and a brush.
At one point, when I was priming around the upstairs bathroom windows, Alex's little face appeared behind the screen in front of me. He looked at me for a minute, observing, no doubt, my grim, tense, "oh no this ladder's starting to slip sideways!" face, and he said
"Good job being brave, Mommy!"
Yesterday Bill and Alex went off to dig clams and gather conch in the morning. Julia didn't want to go. I started cleaning out the freezer, which has been on my list of projects for a while and finally hit the number one spot the other day when I had problems sliding a thin, ziploc bag of roasted tomatoes in it anywhere.
I spent most of the morning in the kitchen, pulling out surprise packages of bread crusts I had thrown in there, intending to make bread crumbs out of them at some point…and little bags of chicken and beef scraps, which we were saving up to use to make stock. And other packages that…well…I'm still wondering what they are. Maybe Bill will know.
After Bill and Alex got home, I was busy picking meat out of the legs and bodies of 8 rock crabs (different story – not from Bill and Alex's digging) and bringing two big pots of water to a boil in order to cook all the conch (38!) the guys had brought home.
Bill had a student, so he was busy, Alex was playing across the street, and Julia was downstairs.
Suddenly Julia shrieked "MOM! GET ALEX! QUICK!"
I wasn't about to dash out the door and across the street just on her say-so, so I asked what she needed him for.
"THERE'S A GIANT CRICKET!"
I went downstairs and asked where it was (we feed them to our lizard), and she pointed (from a distance – she's still afraid of them a bit) toward the plastic underneath the fish tank stand. I pulled it up and sure enough, there was a big black cricket with one leg missing. I cupped my hand and spent a moment idiotically trying to catch it. Julia stayed behind me at a safe distance, watching intently.
And just as I caught the cricket, Julia hollered out the best encouragement she could think of:
"MOM! YOU CAN DO THIS! YOU'RE A BIG MOM!"