Cycling on

While many things were out of order the last week, something was very orderly: the first 6 asparagus spears are poking through the soil, the lilacs are budding, the forsythia bush is in full bloom and the trees along the Charles River are full of blossoms. The daffodils that some kind souls or the town planted along the Charles make the walk along Memorial Drive particularly attractive. I remember last year walking that path, taking pictures and marveling at the beauty. I am sad that this year I can’t make that walk anymore – most any walk is now out of the question.

We worked in the yard; burning the winter debris in the garden, pruning the fruit trees and bushes and raking the leaves, exposing the white pips of the lily of the value, poking through the undergrowth. We know the sequence so well, seeing one after the other part of our garden come to life. The blisters on my hands after an hour of raking are also a recurrent phenomenon each spring.

All these new beginnings tried to offset the endings – two funerals took place of people killed in the mayhem last week – but the sadness if everywhere. Testimonials to the young MIT police officer are on buildings, lighted homages he will never read. And then there is the 8 year old boy who was buried today. I can’t begin to imagine the hole he leaves behind.

Sita, Jim and Faro are back with us, transforming our living room into something we vaguely remember from 30 years ago – child proofed, all the tchotchkies removed, empty surfaces; the results of our Brazilian cleaning lady’s efforts obscured before I even came home. It will pass, I think, although I also know this passing will take a while. But we are richly compensated by Faro’s grins and chuckles – he likes being at opa’s and oma’s. He tried his first Marmite sandwich (he liked it) and had a sip of my beer (he also liked it but his mom did not like it that he liked it). He was less enthused about the edamame and broccoli – we found all smooched under his seat , spit out while we were not looking. He preferred the brown rice with Hoisin sauce and left a trail of grains along his feeding trail.

I have been singing Dutch songs with him. He recognizes them now; the one about hand clapping (in Dutch) leads to spontaneous handclapping and the one about how Lords, Ladies and Lads are riding their horses (‘Zo rijden de Heren…”) produces squeals of laughter but only for the Lads part which is the wild ride of course – he doesn’t care about the measured ride of the Lords or Ladies. And then, when he gets cranky and it is time for bed, I hand him back to his parents. Grantparenthood is the best!

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