Last night I was reading my new Billy Collins book of poetry in bed trying not to think about the appointment Mark and I would be going to in the morning. I was on my last poem, as my eyes were closing, and here were these amazing lines:
“But tonight, the lion of contentment
has placed a warm, heavy paw on my chest,”
I closed the book and prayed for the lion’s paw. Visualized it on my chest. And slept.
This morning our appointment went so well. The most visible nodule in my lung is still shrinking.
So today, on this rainy Monday, with Zoe and her friend Ben busy in the basement, I am curling up with my lion and stroking the paw so heavy on my chest.
It is beyond lovely.
It may have something to do with my sister’s master storytelling skills, but her kids seem to say more funny things than the average kid. There have been times that Becki calls us with a kid story and we keep it on the answering machine for weeks because it still makes us laugh.
So it isn’t much of a surprise that many of our family jokes/quotes come from one of her kids. Ike. Who also answers to the name “LaRue” and “Smedley.” Some of his quips have become so familiar that I keep them like mantras in my head.
Take for example what he said during a family art auction. Up for bidding was Josie’s portrait of Blackie, Ike’s ill-fated hamster. Ike’s opening bid was an exhuberant “30 dollars!” Becki quashed this with the reasoning that a thirty dollar bid was not in the spirit of a family art auction where bids were to be more like a nickel. Ike’s response was “But I like that picture as much as she likes thirty dollars!” Good economic sense, in my mind. Now, when I shop, I reason with myself, “do you like that as much as you like (insert price here)?”
Ike has his first day of Kindergarten recently. He was supposed to say his name and something interesting about himself. I thought for sure his love of porta-potties would be mentioned. Instead, he introduced himself as Ike Veal. Then said that the interesting thing was that his last name meant, “tortured baby cow.” Now, wouldn’t that make PETA proud?
Then, our favorite. And the one that has been in our family vernacular since hearing it. Frustrated with his sister Ramona who, having 3 years on him, can out-reason him handily; Ike shouted “Ramona, that doesn’t make any sense but you!” I have come to accuse Mark of this repeatedly. Sorry to say, I’ve been at the receiving end of the accusation too–particularly when I am insisting that the van be packed a certain way for our recent camping trip.
Here’s to you, Ike LaRue!
When I was a kid, I spent every day of the summer with my brother and sister. We had ONE friend in the neighborhood and the whole drive-your-kids-for-a-playdate thing had not yet been invented. But, in my rosy recollection, these giants of my youth (and adulthood) were all I needed. Here they are.