There are things under my kitchen table that I don't recognize. I think most of them are (or once were) edible, but I'm not sure.
The squashed green blobs could have been asparagus in a former life lived as recently as yesterday, and the dried-up white stuff stuck to the hardwoods was probably mashed potatoes. Here and there lies an occasional meat loaf remnant, and the chip crumbs look like somebody tossed a handful of confetti down there. And well they should have. It has been one big party here at Googie's this weekend.
With two birthdays and a late Easter to celebrate, feasting and frolicking have run rampant these past two days. Thankfully, the rain held off long enough for the traditional back yard egg hunt, which Bootsie, who has gone ambulatory on us since last year, joined in with a mix of awe and relish.
Once again this year, there was that one egg no amount of kid radar (or adult memory) could hone in on. As a result, son Teebo will probably run into it--literally--on the lawn mower later this summer, just like he did last year. Once more there will be that fated crack of impact as the mower blade shatters a pastel hunk of plastic and as, for just a second, a brief aroma of the chocolate candy inside mixes with that of newly-cut grass. If Bath & Body Works could bottle that scent in a Wallflowers fragrance bulb, I would buy the patent and maybe market it as "l'herbe au chocolat." Then, it would smell good and sound good both.
For the first time during this wonderful "Wacky Weekend," as I will dub it, I was graced with the presence of four grandkids, with Beenie, nearly four weeks old now, making his first trip over the river and through the woods. (I have always loved the imagery in that well-known holiday song, so I take the liberty of using it metaphorically here.)
Although in actuality it was a relatively short trip from a subdivision about five minutes away, it was Beenie's first time to visit our house and to meet his three cousins, ages 1, 3, and 4. His mama was gracious when the other kids begged to hold him, and showed remarkable self-restraint when they jostled him a bit and when Bootsie sneezed on him twice. In my warped, perhaps irreverent view, this seemed no less than a christening of sorts, and I consider him thus officially initiated.
And now, back to the task at hand, that of mopping up under the table in this now-too-quiet house. I can't finish this job without dessert, and there it is--a bit of chocolate cake and a renegade smudge of ice cream that probably escaped from the enthusiastically wielded spoon of Pooh or of Sooby. Over yonder may be a wayward drop of candle wax that will most likely require a scraping tool.
And what's this under the microwave cart? It would appear that a miniature Elmo has parked his little blue convertible just out of sight, where he was overlooked during the housewide reconnaisance mission that always precedes the departure but is never entirely successful. It's back up to the toybox for you, buddy. This party is over.
A little slower getting back up off my hands and knees than I used to be, I give the floor beneath the table a final, cursory inspection. It will do for now, until I get a chance to bring out the heavy cleaning artillery. With Elmo in one hand, I place the other one lightly on the corner of the table for balance and recall the clinking of silverware and the cacophony of voices that rose so recently around it.
Although I may not have recognized everything I recently wiped off the floor underneath this table, I do recognize the importance of every stray crumb that landed there. This thing we call family happens in miniature, comprised of moments and morsels, and I will make sure to keep my bucket and rag always at the ready.