Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bunky's Playhouse --CHAPTER 2—

Bunky is staring at me from the corner of the porch. I feel his eyes on me before I spot him eyeing me from behind the glider. He is tiny, a serious little man in a serious little world of his own. He wears a coonskin cap we found at a yard sale and swimmer’s goggles cover his eyes. His blue striped shirt, once fresh and clean looking, is faded, permanently wrinkled and shrunken, having been washed nightly for two months now. I think, as I always do, that I need to find a shirt he likes as well or he will go through life with his buttons popped and his seams split. His shorts ride low, waist band sliding under his rounded belly into a natural resting place on his scrawny hips. Just below his clay stained knees his rubber boots, bright red and shiny look huge and out of place and ridiculously new. He is dressed for adventure.

My heart jumps. I want to run up through the yard and onto the porch and grab him up. I want to swing him around and smother him with kisses and inhale his milk-and-dirt little boy smell. I want to sit in the glider with him on my lap and sing silly songs and tickle his sides until he begs for mercy through his giggles.  I want, I want, I want…

I stroll through the yard slowly, stopping to smell a flower, to pull a weed, to toss an acorn. I approach him coolly. Bunky is the epitome of cool. Four years old and outbursts annoy him. I nod at him as I settle on the porch steps, acknowledging his presence as he sidles up next to me and lays his hand on my shoulder. I pat the tiny fingers, softly, and we stay like that a while, looking out into the yard at the teeming wildlife and the luscious greenery, companionable.

Bunky tells me he wants to go adventuring, please, walk in the woods and find some interesting bugs for his collection. I shudder at the thought of more creepy crawlies at the same time I am bursting with pride at his inquisitive mind. I see that he has his mason jar ready. Holes punched in the lid and grass in the bottom. A magnifying glass, net and bug book sit next to it. They are in a neat row, laid out in a manner that tells me he was expecting an argument and wanted to have everything ready to point at if and when I said no. The book is there simply to make me happy. In an effort to curtail his passion for insects that actually moved and bred I bought him the book. As good as having them I explained, but better!  More variety, more color. You can learn about them without actually having them in your room! He had looked at me somberly and called me out. You only bought it so you wouldn’t have to hunt bugs with me. It is a simple, and true statement but the way he says it sounds so bad I cringe like I have been caught doing something mean and petty.
No worms, Bunky, I mean it, no worms and no grubs and no crickets. Deal? And nothing that bites or stings! And no stink bugs!

I am talking to myself; he has run off the porch and is trotting around in circles with his arms flapping erratically calling out Butterflies? How about butterflies? Are you afraid of butterflies? Are they scary granma? He giggles. My heart soars.