He travels down the stairs like an ogre, heavy and disheveled. Rubbing his bare feet on the floor there is no doubt where he’s been or where he is headed. Shoulders dropped low, slack-jawed and mopey; don’t make eye contact for he shall unleash vengeance upon all who gaze. The ogre heads to the basement hoping to find some suitable clothing for the day. He begins pawing at the clothes basket like a bear would a tree trunk looking for grubs. Left paw, right paw he swats what is not his out-of-the-way. An annoyance really, these clothes he cares little for, or where they may land. Finding a shirt and pair of shorts he then takes to climbing out of the basement with a gasp and a grumble. Those who stand in the kitchen run for fear of falling victim to his foul mood.
I ask him where he is headed? I do this for I am not scared, nor do I cower at his presence. I am like an old lady with a rolled up newspaper ready to swat the creature on the nose for snorting my direction. He mumbles something about being upstairs, followed by a mild tantrum in regards to his little brother not picking anything up in their bedroom. All of which had nothing to do with the original question, but I let it slide for now. He vanishes back up the stairs and I sit, listening to his heavy footsteps across the floor. I can almost tell you play by-play what he is doing by the foot shuffle that carries through the ceiling overhead.
The others have gathered again hoping to eat before oaf re-enters the kitchen. But this is not be. Slowly he comes back down, dressed and ready for school. The deep furrowed brow he held before seems to have lightened a bit, showing some of the finer features of his face. He pours a bowl of cereal, covers it with milk and sits at the bar staring intently. I ask what he is staring at and all I receive is a shrug. Let the ogre eat I say quietly to myself; let the ogre eat..
He finishes his bowl and walks towards the sink to deposit the fine china and utensils. As he passes a smile arises! It’s not much but the corners of his mouth did raise to an acceptable level. So much so that yes, it’s officially deemed a smile! We have turned the corner! Houston we DO NOT have a problem! It is going to be a good day! I calmly smile back, keeping calm as to not jump the gun on this one! Go easy Betty, go easy!
He finishes his morning chores, including feeding all the horses and comes into the house with a full-blown smile! Its like the sun shining right in our kitchen! The flowers all lean his way! The dogs drop to their bellies and bask in the warm glow! He shines! He shines brightly and his mother hugs him with equal warmth and affection.
The children gather at the rear door, lunches in hand, books at the ready. All are prepared for school and most are excited to go. Mom readies herself, one last sip of coffee and off they head into the world! All run towards the car as if it were a game of tag! They are excited for the oldest is driving them to school today. Something about a kid driving other kids that makes them giggle. Three are gone but one remains at the back door. He is still smiling, staring at me with rosy cheeks, hands in pockets, back pack slung across his shoulders. The warmth still radiating from his face, I can feel his love. I walk closer and he wraps his arms around me, squeezing with all his might. He tells me to have a good day, I do the same and with a wink he is off.
He is no longer the same ogre from earlier lumbering about dragging his club and grumbling. He no longer swats at things like an angry bear. What moment brought about the change? I believe it is an uninterrupted bowl of cereal that does the trick for this lad. As I turn and close the door I soon realize that I am the very same ogre prior to my morning cup of coffee. Hmmmmm???
The legacy continues..