So, my George and Alice post from last week has been so popular that I thought I'd ask George to share another story. So, George is my guest blogger today.
Here it is:
“No Cow,” Elizabeth said.
“Moon! Moon! Moon!” Disappointed by the absence of the cow, but thrilled by the moon, Elizabeth rallied, jumping up and down on the dinette cushions, tangling herself in the Outfitter camper curtains.
“Yes, that’s the moon,” I said. “Mom and I can count on you to find it for us, every evening.”
“Cow?” She hopes, like two year olds do.
“No Cow” I confirm what she already knows.
Ever since we sang a silly song about that cow jumping over the moon, this is a ritual. Unlike other disappointments, which often lead to alligator tears and all sorts of emoting, Elizabeth chalks this missing cow thing up to circumstance.
Maybe the cow is home eating dinner.
Maybe it’s visiting the horses.
She’ll wait like patience on a monument until the next night.
“Cow?” She’ll say, again.
During new moon cycles, or inclement weather, when the moon itself is elusive, the question doesn’t come up.
Duh, Dad. Everyone knows without the moon there’s no sense asking about the cow. Even a two year old is clued in on that.
“Wye-Me -Moon! Wye-Me Moon! Wye-Me Moon!” She demands her twin brother’s Williams’ attention.
“Dah Dah Dah DAH!” William’s head is inside the cabinet under the camper’s dinette, his attention focused on the growling sounds coming from the Sureflo water pump. It mysteriously started making this noise while I washed dishes.
William worries about the plumbing, not a moon missing its cow.
Half-Moon Valley, as far as I’m concerned, is THE place to camp.
A remote spot (in Southern CA terms) in the Las Padres forest with nobody, and I mean Nobody to complain if the kids cry too loud, and several miles from the nearest paved road.
Today, everybody cried. But, the day’s wrapping up, soon we’ll sleep and dream about tomorrow’s new adventures.
Yep, I’m flying, or camping, as the case may be, solo. Mom’s back home, under the weather. Camping makes her ill. But, I suspect she might not even know for sure what real camping is. Roughing it to Mom is staying at Circus Circus instead of the Venetian.
But, I love it out here. My love for the great outdoors, and my kids, overrode my terror at taking two year old twins out, alone.
“Are you crazy?” Is the usual response when friends and co-workers find out I’m outward bound with William and Elizabeth.
I guess a lot of very bad things can happen with two year olds.
Some things are worth the risk.
“Moon,” Elizabeth gives one more shout out before bed.
Even though William doesn’t care about cows, moons, or any other celestial happenings, Elizabeth is still generous. She watches out for him, and because she doesn’t want him to miss out, she’ll make another run at it tomorrow, or the next night, or next week.
For now, Dad will have to do. He likes the moon, with or without a cow, and the stars too. Elizabeth shares her nighttime discoveries, her chest puffed with pride.
Soon, she’ll be old enough for the telescope I set up outside the camper door. After the twins give in to sleep, I’ll creep outside to stargaze a while before I climb into bed myself.
I think my well-meaning friends and colleagues are kind of right.
I’d be crazy to miss one second of this.
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