Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Australia Six: same continent, different island

We’re here. We’ve packed enough food for seventeen allergic people, hugged my grandmother, and driven out to Phillip Island, home to the fairy penguins.

Last night, I told a story of two boys who were too excited to sleep, and consequently slept through most of the day. The Eldest was so horrified by this that he wailed, stopping only when he was assured that his story might have a different ending.

And so it shall.

A side note which should really be a central one: the boys began the trip a little afraid of my grandmother, whose slurred, post-stroke speech wasn’t in their dialect, and whose slow movements didn’t inspire delight in the pair of jackrabbits that are my children. I’m not useful, explained my grandmother (a.k.a. Bom, for mysterious grandchildish reasons), and they expect grownups to do things with them, or for them. I just sit here.

A mother to four, she knows such things. And she waited, patiently, until the Eldest hugged her, and the Toddles kissed her, and generally chatted with her. By shabbat, the Toddles had realized the joys of the patient, stationary adult and was bringing her a ball to toss. He’d praise the toss, and run after the ball. Then, puppylike, he’d bring it back to her for another throw. Good job, Bom, he’d tell her. Good frow!

The useless adult smiled at him, and tossed it again.

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