He wants to eat everything outside. Every green leaf, every stick and flower. We have one lone spinach plant that has survived the winter, and every time he passes by, he pulls off a leaf to eat. So today, as he's making and tasting a potion in his water table, I remind him we only eat plants from our garden. So he walks all the way around to the front yard to grab two baby handfuls of baby spinach, adds them to the brew, and chows down. "My potion's so good I'm crying!"
Then I show him how to identify the patches of wild green onions growing all over the yard. These you can eat, too, my dear. Show him how to pull near the roots and find the tiny white bulbs. He hates onions on his plate, but outside, from the ground, he has no hesitation and declares, "These aren't spicy like regular onions."
On the first nice day in weeks, we've been outside for four hours. Ate lunch outside. Painted outside. Peed outside (well, he did). But mostly just explored. He's gloriously filthy. I'm sitting in the sun.
I flashback to my own childhood. Picking wild blackberries along the fence. Sucking honeysuckles. Eating tiny crab apples. Making clover necklaces and climbing trees. It sounds decadently Southern, and yet timeless, placeless at the same time.
That's what I want for him, my son. Not soccer and piano and gymnastics (unless he really wants them), but hours outside, being that translucent eyeball, that self-reliant man, feasting from the earth. Coming finally to bed, sun-kissed and soiled.