“NOT On Solo to the South of Louisiana” – Carolyne Howard
Road trip! As tomorrow is Hero Son’s birthday in the South of Louisiana, my mother’s heart is seizing a free schedule spot to run south for the night to cook birthday breakfast for that wonderful hunk of Good man with Daughter-in-Love and possibly both their darlings present. And, oops, did Daughter just text to ask if Miz Lou, out of school for President’s Day, could go? Well, shoot, I have invited both her and Little Man to come surprise Uncle Bubbie. If both arrive at the appointed time, I am in for a less-than-peaceful drive down to Happy Land. Oh, well, I am up for it by God’s Grace.
Both Little Man and Miz Lou have matching buddies down south through my Sista/girlfriend Gigi’s two grands Guillaume and Elise. Within days or weeks of each other in birth, these four bonded from earliest visits. The now fourth generational friendships increase our deepest love for the South of Louisiana and tie our hearts more sweetly there. Generational, long-standing love lasts and makes life so precious! In other words, we have history!
Man of Mine and I began our earliest married memories with this family. As is still true down there, we knew their “grandmamas and ‘dem” when we first began to celebrate life by Holidays and worship, hunting, work, school, and living in this sweet small town of their sugar cane land.
Fourth of July’s at Ferd and E.B.’s with barbecue, swims, and family friends all around the pool are still a joy to remember. Every year Gigi’s Man, the elder son, held court around the pit nursing his perfectly prepared sausages, steaks, and burgers while we waited with moist lips in anticipation and were never disappointed. Upon grilling success, he challenged all the youngsters to overwhelm him in the pool but always came away victorious and still alive. His bravado and manly admonishings to the “weaker” ones caused all to gather round for a turn to dunk, but to this day he conquers and is still king. Ferd and E.B. are gone now, and Second Son has magnificently remodeled the home for his clan, but even today when passing by its side yard, I remember fondly long ago and hear my children’s sweet joy-filled voices from those many Independence Day celebrations. Now Gigi and Man have their own pool with continued tradition!
That was then and this is now…..it was not Miz Lou and Little Man to drive south today with me but Little Man alone. He appeared proudly with backpack perfectly positioned on his strong little back ready for our first solo road trip. How can he be old enough for such? Wasn’t he just in diapers and clinging to his mother?! Now at just barely six he faced me with the determination of the learned to say, “Ready!” Away we went! Man of Mine’s face showed shock as Little Man waved us down the street to the Interstate.
Little Man has been such even beginning life. There was no rockie-rockie with him once he could handle his bottle! Give him the bottle, and he bedded himself! His agility from birth shocked us, so that the biggest challenge for us has been to try to hold him back from himself. If he had been given wings, the coup would have been flown almost immediately. Forget hugs and kisses now! Not the manly thing for sure, although tonight I challenged him that real men CAN express love. He can witness that in his tall, manly Uncle Bubbie for sure when he wraps me in his arms until cares wash away!
Today’s road trip consisted of an hour’s rest in Walmart thirty minutes from home with his desiring to both push the cart and use it as a springboard for aeronautical exercises perhaps making himself ready for circus excellence in the near future. He always coaxes me to buy way more than originally planned. (Sorry, Man of Mine!) His arguments and wordings make perfect sense to this Mimi-in-love by the time he deals the reason. Lawyer or dynamic deal-maker in the future, his is the gift to convince and haggle in the best possible way even to the point that we visited that ghastly lever toy contraption in the store foyer and wasted another fifty cents. I confess total spoiling this trip to the point of “Yes, ok” still causing my throat to close. In short, I think I have been had by a little peckerwood who doesn’t give even a little peck! World, beware! Little Man is headed your way! He says he wants to travel the world and tell everyone about Jesus when he grows up. I am a believer now for sure! They won’t be able to resist him or Him anymore than I can with Little Man driving that cart!
However, at day’s end with much protest from my attempts to love on him, a final head rub after prayers softened his resolve enough that he agreed to one last coloring effort before bed. On the tray in his bed I found the love note home to his mother of missing her and wishing he was home in the educated hand of a proper kindergarten man. Being a big boy is tough. Good night, my darling Little Man. Mimi will have you home tomorrow after Uncle Bubbie’s birthday breakfast. My two big men together for celebration makes my heart swell. I am blessed to know and love them both!
Next time, gentle readers! I pray God says the same!
Click below to hear Audio of ~ NOT On Solo To the South of Louisiana