god will still love you

My younger son continues to make home improvements to his little top-of-the-stairs bedroom nook.
The other day he built a little stair-step footstool for his plants.

He’s growing a whole menagerie. (Can one have a menagerie of plants?). From a letter he wrote to his grandmother back at the beginning of the month:

I’ve planted tomato plants, and it’s been 14 days and half of them have grown about 1½ inches. I have around 60 tomato plants. I’m hoping that we can transplant them into our garden. I also have two spider plants that are babies but are growing fast. I also have two aloe plants; one of them I took from Mom’s aloe plant, and the other I got from Grandmommy, and two peace lilies, one from Grandmommy and one from Mom’s peace lily that is not doing too well, but is still alive. I’m trying to grow an avocado tree from a seed from an avocado. I have a grape vine that I hope will grow. And finally, I have one stalk of corn.

In lieu of a closet, he built himself a stick-out wooden bar upon which to hang his Sunday shirts (that he has since determined can probably go up to the attic, taking into consideration Covid-19 and all).

And also built a towel rack to hang on the back of the door.

“I should’ve put it up higher,” he told me when I stuck my head in to check it out. “My towel hangs down over the hook for my backpack, but oh well.”

As I already mentioned, the kid gave up added sugar for lent. When Covid-19 hit, and I began using baked goods for emotional boosters, he was forlorn.

“You can quit,” I told him. “No one expects you to give up sugar on top of everything else you’re giving up. God will still love you.”

But nope. He never even wavered.

Which kind of annoyed me. Now that we were all at home, I wanted to bake more, but without my trusty human garbage disposal, I kept getting a backlog of food. Plus, some of our foods, like rhubarb crunch and granola bars and monster cookies and granola and baked oatmeal, are actually substantial parts of our meals but, since they had added sugar, he declared them off limits.

He ate a lot of peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and when I bought him an entire Costco bag of celery sticks, he was over the moon.

All week, he’s been counting down the days until Sunday. When I said I was going to make pumpkin pies this week, he pleaded with me to wait until next week, but I didn’t listen. I did, though, save the last piece for him. It’s tucked in the back of the fridge, along with a bowl of wilting whipped cream. 

This same time, years previous: fifteenth spring, when popcorn won’t pop, Mr. Tiny, an evening walk, deviled eggs, on fire, lemons and goat cheese, cream of tomato soup.

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