About an hour-and-a-half ago, my mother-in-law, two boys and myself were eating yogurt after I picked them up from school. You know, one of those yogurt places where you squirt in your own yogurt into a gigantic tub and load toppings on it with a backhoe, put it on a scale and then pay for it with your left kidney? One of those places. We situated ourselves under a large oak tree and enjoyed our mixture of yogurts that aren’t really supposed to go together, Fruity Pebbles, nuts, fruit, chewy balls, coconut, gummy bears, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and a malted milk ball. We didn’t have all of those things together. Actually, my 5-year-old probably did.
We were there.
I think I was telling my mother-in-law that my son really, really loves playing in dirt. He likes lots of other things, too, like LEGOs and Star Wars, but he is really tight with dirt.
So, I was watching him and talking about him and talking to him and telling his brother not to shake up my bottle of Diet Coke, for goodness sakes.
And I felt it.
“Ouch! An acorn just landed on my head! Ha! An acorn!”
“It did, Mom?”
“Yeah, just PLOP, right on my head.”
I looked all around at the acorns on the ground and wondered if anyone else had gotten knocked upside the head with it like I had.
“Okay, let’s go. We need to get going.”
“One more minute, Mom.”
“Ten more minutes.”
So, we stayed for ten more.
On our way home, we stopped at an old German cemetery really close to our house. There are a lot of German cemeteries near our house. My grandmother grew up close to this area and knew about half of those people probably. My great-great-grandmother probably knew them all, except that one guy in the left-hand corner.
“Do people die every day, Mom?”
“Were people riding in wagons when this man got dead?”
“Probably so, dude.”
And, so it went.
(We like really old cemeteries. My 8-year-old really does. Every elementary school around here was represented in that place.)
I was inspired to call my grandmother. She is a “full-blooded German”, you know. She spoke only German until she was in Kindergarten. I liked asking her about the last names. She liked telling me about them. Then, she liked telling me about this. And about that. And about this. And about that.
Which, I love.
We talked as I drove home. We talked as I pulled into the driveway. We talked as I put laundry away. We talked as my husband drove up in the driveway. We talked as I saw him walk up towards me. We talked as…
“WHAT IS IN YOUR HAIR?!?!”
“What? What are you talking about?”
“YOU HAVE SOMETHING REALLY GROSS IN YOUR HAIR.”
“Really? Get it out! Get it out!”
“It’s bird poop.You need to take a shower.”
But, I was still talking.
“I’ve got bird poop in my hair,” I told my grandmother.
“Bird poop? Yeah, you need to wash that out.”
Yet, we kept talking.
For a while.
Which, I love.
We talked about shorthand, John Kerry, Obama, Clinton, weddings, spelling, genetics, my great-grandmother, her sister, football, the boys’ school, my stuff, her stuff, Dr. Dobson, American kids and TV, reading books, magazine hoarding and shorthand again.
“Well, I need to let you go. I’ve got this bird poop.”
“Yeah, you need to wash that out.”
“Yes, now that I know it wasn’t an acorn, I can feel it in my hair. It’s just sitting there.”
“You’re really worried about that bird poop, huh?”
“Well, I don’t like bird poop in my hair.”
So, we kept talking.
And talked some more.
Which I love.
Want to know the truth?
I have been multi-tasking. I am writing this post as I am talking to my grandmother. I can do two things at once. I’m listening. I’m responding. Yet…I’m typing.
But, guess what I’m not doing?
WASHING MY HAIR.