Saturday, August 22, 2015

Spending time in the woods

Biscuit spent another week with his grandparents, and by all accounts, a good time was had by all.

Biscuit's time at his grandparents is spent differently than his time at home. I think I've posted pictures before, but my parents live in the woods. You can't hear cars on the highway, and when an airplane goes over, everybody looks up because it's such a rarity to see one there.

Biscuit gets to be a country boy there. He gets to fish and ride tractors. He rides four-wheelers and messes with the horses and goats. Everybody at my parents' church knows him and calls him by name when he visits. They take care of him and make sure that he gets where he's supposed to be. And my brother and his family live only about five minutes away, so he gets to spend time with them, too.

And Biscuit has figured out that the way they talk is not the way he talks. Last time Biscuit was down there, my Mama asked my nephew if he had remembered to get his pocket knife. And Biscuit mimicked her perfectly. I can't think of a way to spell the word "knife" so you can know how she says it. But everybody in the house started laughing about it. He thought for a minute that he was in trouble, but Mama assured him that they just thought it was funny how he picked it up so well.

Jeff and I were in the mountains from Thursday to Saturday. After we checked out of the inn and spent a little more time in some of the shops, we headed down to my parents' house. The plan was to get up Sunday morning and leave when my parents went to church. But Biscuit said he wanted to go to Mama's church again, so we stayed.

Since we thought we would be leaving early Sunday morning, Jeff and I didn't have any church-appropriate clothes, so we stayed home. We stopped to get some apples in the mountains, so I spent my morning making an apple pie. It was nice to be baking in Mama's kitchen.

After lunch (and apple pie!), we loaded up the car to head home. Then Biscuit decided he wasn't quite ready.

"Mom, can Dada and Papa and I shoot one more game of pool?" Biscuit asked.

"One game," I said.

I put the rest of the stuff in the car, then looked up to see my brother and nephew coming down the road with a boat on the back of the truck. I gave up right then thinking that we were going to get home at a decent hour.

My brother and nephew drove the truck into field by the pond and unloaded the boat. As soon as Biscuit realized they were there, he took off running to the pond.

The boat is just a little jon boat, perfectly sized for the ponds at my parents' house and for the one at my brother's house. A few years ago, not long after my brother first got his boat, Jeff drew his name for Christmas. Being his usual funny self, Jeff bought stick-on letters to spell out "Pond Yacht." He also went to a kitschy beach store and bought him a captain's hat. And guess what the name of the boat is? My brother put the name on the side of the boat the day after Jeff gave him the letters!

Well, as soon as Biscuit saw the boat, he started yelling, "Can you take me out? Can you take me out? Please tell me you have a life jacket and can take me out."

"Well," my brother said. "The thing is, we don't have any gas." 

"Awwww," Biscuit said.

I leaned down and whispered into Biscuit's ear, "Ask him why he needs gas when the boat doesn't have a motor, and he has two arms and oars."

"Yeah," Biscuit said. "You don't even need gas!"

My brother threw Biscuit a life jacket, and the three of them (Biscuit, my brother and nephew) climbed into the boat and floated away.

They had fishing rods and for about 10 minutes before they launched the boat, they pawed around in the grass catching crickets for bait. Fishing in Papa's pond is usually catch and release. Grandmama doesn't like the smell of fish in her kitchen, so Papa has to clean them and fry them in an outdoor cooker. But on Sunday, they didn't want to keep anything they caught.

Sometimes I figure out that Biscuit has learned something that I didn't teach him. That's weird enough, but to realize that he has learned something new, and it's clearly been a while since he learned it - well, that's really weird.

The boys circled the pond, then came to rest at a spot on the side. My brother baited a hook and handed the rod to Biscuit. Biscuit grabbed it, slowly pulled it around to the side, then whipped it out into the pond. He looked like he had done it a thousand times.

I wasn't prepared the first time he did it, but when he reeled the hook back in, I grabbed my camera and put it on video.

I love that Biscuit gets to spend time where I grew up. I love that he gets to have some of the same experiences I had as a kid and that he gets to run around the same yard I ran around. And it certainly doesn't hurt that Jeff and I have some non-kid time together, too. 

It's always hard to hand Biscuit off and drive away without him, but knowing how much fun he'll have makes it a bit easier. And then I get to pick him up and get lots of hugs and kisses.

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