June 20, 2008

Dragged Him Up the Hill, part 2

I yawned and stretched my one free arm up above my head.

I allowed myself the luxury, for these few moments, to study his face. Deciding that I didn’t want to have a care in the world just then, I forgot everything and just adored him lying limp across my lap. His precious face looked so much like his father that I felt like the young mother that I had been just 29 years ago! --and so much like his mother that I relived some of my memories of her antics as a child. But his parents don’t share any physical similarities between them. Wow.

Sometimes I looked back at the drivers speeding by. Other times I kept my head down. I wondered if they could see the grays in my hair, and if they thought he was nursing. Oh, well. Leave them guessing!

What does a 2 year-old dream about? This boy’s favorite food is pancakes. He likes super-heroes and strumming his little guitar. I couldn’t tell where his mind was, but he was enjoying it.

When it was time to get up, my legs almost wouldn’t lift us. My knees aren’t great any more, but I managed to sway my body a certain way that allowed me to rise and not wake him. By the time we got to the drainpipe along the way I shifted him up to ride on my back. I looked up the hill and realized that his cheek would be in direct sunlight for another 15 minutes, and I hoped he wouldn’t sunburn.

Just as my mind wandered back to the African grandmothers I had eaten beans and nshima with on our mission trip, my package started to stir. When he was newborn I had tried to carry him on my back, but almost strangled him in the Chitenge material I wrapped around us! He’ll just have to understand that I have more to learn about his African ancestry!

One of my comforting thoughts during our journey was that someday he might take care of his grandma – in return for his grandma taking care of him. Now, there’s another amazing thought!

By the time his parents arrived we had lots of stories to tell. Grass seeds that he’d stuck in his hair, the daisy he’d picked for mama, the toys he’d played with; and of course, how Grandma had dragged him up the long country road home.

I’ve got a few good miles left in me.