Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spring fever

The kids have been battling coughs, eye infections, headaches,and, most recently, fevers. Colm hit 103.5 yesterday. He laid around like a whipped dog all day, bravely turning down all offers of food and drink. He slept, watched videos, slept some more... Last night sometime in the middle of the night, his fever broke. As soon as we woke up the difference was palpable. He took a big long drink of water. His voice was chirpy again, and when I brought up the subject of breakfast, he was interested.
The sun came out too. I went out back to finish pruning the apple trees. As I worked I noticed Tess and Colm carrying armloads of stuff to the tree house. They went about their work as I did mine. I felt good to be outside, and it was great to feel the kids outside and absorbed in something of their own creation. You can always tell when they've left this world for a better place. They don't make a lot of noise; rather, they murmur intently to one another. I can't make out a word, but just the sound of their voices is reassuring like a slender steam trickling by. I too get lost in my work, first cutting and then gathering branches. Time seems to slip by on greased skids. Then Tess calls me.
"How do you spell rocket?"

I look up. The apple tree in which the tree house sits looks like it has blossomed back packs, shirts, christmas ornaments, ribbons, picnic baskets. The ladder is brightly colored with chalk. A large white bear wearing Tess's overcoat is tied at the foot of the ladder. On the tree's trunk hangs a clipboard. Tess is wearing a cape, standing there with her pen poised. Colm, also in a cape, is busy with something up in the tree.
I tell her how to spell rocket. I give her time to finish whatever it is she's writing and then a amble over for a closer look.
The kids tell me that they are flashcats and that this is there rocket. I notice all the clothes. Tess informs me that they don't live here. They've just landed here.
I ask them why they've come. There is a pause. Each seems to consider the possibilities. They look at one another and smile.
We've come to rescue a penguin, says Tess. Colm nods smiling.
Don't find many penguins in these parts, I tell them. You might check the front yard and the sidewalk though because sometimes new critters pass by there. You might get lucky.
Colm grabs his bow and arrow and the two of them head for the gate, their robes trailing gracefully. As they leave I look at the "rocket". It resembles the insides of two bedrooms in our house more than it does a rocket but that's only because I haven't the faintest idea what a flashcat's rocket would look like.
They return much later. I meet them at the door and than them profusely for having helped the penguin. They accept my thanks.
May I offer you lunch as a token of my gratitude?
Hot dogs? says Colm. It's nice to see his appetite back.
Hot dogs for flashcats, I say.
They enter with the assurance of super heros. Like all ordinary people in such stories I feel blessed just to be in their presence.


Anonymous erin said...

I love it! What a great world they inhabit!

9:51 AM  

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