The weather in Maryland has been playing like it’s April Fools in February. Will we have summer today — or winter? –or spring? Anybody’s guess. And maybe Owen is playing along, kind of restless and antic.
During the February week that Owen’s mom (alias me) spent sick with a relentless cold virus, things got a little more chaotic in a world always teetering on the edge of the abyss.
Plastic piles in drifts accumulated around the furniture, an in corners of all rooms. Kale mounds spontaneously erupted on the bathroom floor.
Or so it seemed to mom, as she dragged herself from the chair at the breakfast table to her bed again, feeling buried in detritus but just not really caring that much. Owen’s dad took wonderful care of him, as always, and waited patiently for things to normalize. Instead he got the virus. So maybe it’s understandable that Owen is a little more squirrely than usual. Or blame it on these radically changing temperatures. Owen likes predictable. So do I.
Thankfully Owen is kind of predictable, in a chaotic sort of way. Which is why, when things did begin to normalize (?) and I came into the kitchen to clean up one night, after a speedy post-grocery-shopping-with-Owen supper of omelettes, and couldn’t locate the box of eggs – the brand new bulk box of Pete and Gerry’s – I was worried. I saw that I should have known better. In a moment of foolish practicality, I had purchased those 18 eggs in the plastic box. In another moment of wooziness, I had gone to the toilet without putting the eggs away, tying up the fridge, and locking up the kitchen. Drat. And drat Pete and Gerry anyway for using a plastic box. Gone AWAL.
The beauty of being sick for a week, however, is that you get lots of time to sleep. Although end-of-day weary, my sense of humor was intact. Feeling calm, I communicated the problem to my son.
“Owen,” I said, “Where are the eggs?”
Owen presented a shuttered expression.
“Owen. We really, really need to find the eggs!”
No eggs in the fridge veggie drawers where I have found eggs rolling before in similar situations. No eggs in Owen’s collection-of-stuff drawer in the family room. But in the green basket beside the drawer I unearthed hunks of plastic egg crate with a telltale label chopped and mixed into the melange.
I took Owen’s hands. “Owen, where did you put the eggs that were in the box?” I peered into his face, trying to keep my mind off of leaking albumen soaking into upholstery. “I need to find those eggs.”
He looked off away, into space, brow furrowed, mouth slack. For Owen, the shop closes down about 9pm, and after that the processing of language will be even harder than it always is. He looked as though deep thinking were required – Eggs? hmmm. Eggs. Do I know Eggs? It seemed as though he would have liked to help me…on the other hand, he could have been really worried about what was on his horizon, when I found those eggs. What do I know. Either way, the circuits were clogged.
I took his hand, and modeled “search for” as we moved through the house. No eggs on the couch, good — and upstairs no eggs on Owen’s bed. Glory Days kale that had the misfortune to be packaged in a glamorous sunrise orange and purple bag wound up in a huge heap on Owen’s bed not too long ago.
That was my last best guess. “Owen! —–!”
But oh – wait — one more idea. Ahhhhh!
Found. How appropriate to end an egg hunt in a basket.
I required O to help lift the leaking shells into a convenient bucket, although he wasn’t happy about those goopy egg whites
The bucket had to be pretty clean I figured, since I usually use it for bathtime dousing. From there into a pot of hot water for the eggs, and into a newly made bed for Owen.
Edward returned from his evening meeting to find a kitchen full of groceries and a pot of hardboiled eggs — already cracked.