Thursday, March 27, 2014

Conversations With Jubal

I am laying in bed, fast asleep, dreaming about waking up when through the soft billowy layers of my dream, and yes thinking back on it, it does seem to be a white mist, I hear coming towards me steps. The steps seem to stretch on for an eternity, the soft padding forever echoing, forever boding the ill that was to come. Pfff, pfff, pfff... In the endless space somewhere the door creaked. A pitiful voice weaseled it's way through the calm silence. "Eat, eat..." In a moment I am wrenched from my sleep when the voice persists. It is much more like a tornado siren now. "Eat, eat, eat!"

It is eight AM, and I know right there I have lost all pity. No it is not early, but when the whole household is sick, and all semblance of a routine has gone by the wayside, nine o'clock has been the norm for waking hours. (*hands on sides of face, gasp*)

I roll over and there is my three year old brother clutching his blue snot covered pillow to his face. I think to myself, "Man that thing needs to be washed." I shove the covers down away from my face and look around the darkened room. The house is silent except for the pitiful cries of my little brother. "Eat, eat!"

"Go ask Savannah; I want to sleep." I retreat back to my blankets and Jubal turns towards his bedroom where Savannah is sleeping. She coughs all night long and keeps me awake so she has been sleeping in Jubal's bed. Jubal sleeps in my parents bed with Dad. My Mom who also coughs all night long sleeps on the sofa. "Eat, eat, eat..." Savannah doesn't answer him so I call out "Savannah!" It takes me a few moments to remember that Savannah is sick. I throw off the covers and come into Jubal's room. There is Savannah. Sleeping. Sound. As. A. Rock. She could sleep through anything. The thought, "Why am I the only one that ever wakes up?" slips through my head but I stop myself. Savannah looks so tired. I am really not a grumpy person in the morning.

"Here Jubal, come I'll make you something."

Of course he doesn't follow but he stops repeating the single word eat. Instead I hear him play quietly with his toys while I pull out a slice of bread. I pop it in the toaster and get out the butter, peanut butter and honey. Chuig! the bread pops up. I fix it up and set it at the table. "Jubal, your toast is ready." He comes sits down and begins eating. Dad is already up and is working on his computer. I forget to say good morning.

Finally I can use the bathroom. I have time to wash my face and put my skirt on before Jubal says "I still hungry, more, more?" I come out with my pajama shirt still on. Mom mumbles something on the sofa. As I pass her I say, "Mom, Jubal has a violin lesson today." More mumbles. I get Jubal some apple sauce. My mom groggily says to me on my way back through the living room, "I want you to take him today." Her eyes seem glued shut, her hair is all messed up, tissues surround her and her voice sounds worse than her usual morning voice. Of course I will take Jubal to lessons this morning. "What time?" Nine o'clock, I have to hurry.

I finish getting dressed; Jubal asks for more food so I give him rice and milk; he eats most of it and accidentally dumps the rest on the carpet. Jubal of course is very upset and starts crying. I kiss his tears away, put down a towel to soak up the milk and leave the picking up of the rice grains to someone else later when they get up.

It turned out his lesson wasn't until ten so I had plenty of time to get myself and him ready. I could even catch a shower. We left the house at 9:40. Jubal brought his Leap Pad to play as we ride in the truck.

When we get to lessons Jubal suddenly become very shy. He tries to hide behind me when Mr. Brian opens the door. I try to coax him inside but soon it turns out a full on battle to get in the door. Lots of tears and pulling away. I have to drag him through the door and pick him up so he doesn't run out again. He continues crying and hides his face.

"Is he hungry? Has he had breakfast yet?" Mr. Brian asks
"Yes he has."
"How about a banana would that help?"
"Oh yes, Jubal loves bananas."

At the mention of banana Jubal immediately stops crying, he still hides his face though. When Mr. Brian comes holding a banana Jubal suddenly looks up and smiles really big. I peel it for him and Jubal says thank you. Soon lessons are underway. In no time at all Mr. Brian has Jubal talking and smiling. Jubal is eager to show him how he can read the notes in his book. When Mr. Brian asks him the names of the strings as he plucks them Jubal takes a few guesses. A, D, E, G... Then he says, "Lih plays A on piano and I play A on piano!" My little brother loves to tell Mr. Brian all about what he does with music and Mr. Brian loves to listen. He gets a chance to use the bow and play the violin. Mr. Brian is impressed that he still remembers how hold it properly. It has been a while since his last lesson. The teacher tells me what we should work on this week.

Jubal's lesson is only fifteen minutes so it is not long before it is time to go. Before we leave his teacher offers some candy. I say yes and out of the cookie jar come two chocolate Easter eggs. Jubal is very happy. "Nank you." he says.

When we get back in the truck we talk about all sorts of things. We talk about how happy Mr. Brian was to see him because he was smiling so much. "Now he sad." Jubal observes.
"He's sad? Is it because you went away?"
"Well, he's not sad. He has other things to do. He is happy to go to Pensacola."
"My teacher haff go Pencola? He happy?"
"Yes, he has to work in Pensacola. Do you know what work he does?"
"I doan no."
"Well Jubal, there are lots of different kinds of work. Daddy works on the computer, Zachary works with big trucks and your teacher works with lots of different kinds of musical instruments like violin, and trumpet. Everybody has a different kind of work."

We drive along and Jubal spots a pond. "Oh! that Backwawer Bay!"
"No that's not Blackwater Bay."
"That Backwawer Riwer!"
"No, that's not Blackwater River."
"That Cambia Bay!"
"No, that's not Escambia Bay."
"What it is?"
"That's called a pond Jubal."
"A duck pond?"
"Yes a duck pond."
"I didn' see eny ducks."
"Well there's not always ducks. Did you know there are cow ponds too? Cows like to go swimming in the ponds."
"Cow like swimming? Oh and duck like swimming."
"Yes they do. Do you like swimming Jubal?"
"Yes! and You like swimming, and Zachy like swimming, and Mommy like swimming, and Wah (Savannah) like swimming, and Why (Levi) like swimming, and Daddy like swimming! Where we swim?"
"Well we can't swim in cow ponds. Those are dirty."
"Yes dirty. But we can swim in the Blackwater Bay. Do you remember at the Smith's house, the water there? We can go swimming there."
"When it gets warm we'll go swimming. And we can go swimming in your little pool in the yard. Did you know Jubal, that Levi used to have ducks?"
"Why haff ducks?"
"Yes, he had six white ducks."
"Six white ducks?"
"Yes, and before that little pool was yours to swim in Levi used to let his ducks swim in it. Then we cleaned it out and we can swim in it now. We don't have ducks anymore."
"Doan haff duck anymore."
"No not anymore. Did you know Jubal, that ducks lay eggs just like chickens do. We used to eat duck eggs just like chicken eggs."
"Oh and they like sit on it."
"Yes chickens and ducks like to sit on their eggs. If they sit long enough baby chickens and baby ducks, chicks and ducklings, will hatch out of the eggs. But if they don't sit on them we can eat them."

When we get to the gas station I tell Jubal that we are going to get a special drink.
"There are lots of drinks in there and we are going to get one. They keep all the drinks in refrigerators but there is no food in it like ours. Just drinks."
"No food in it? Juss dink?" Jubal sounds incredulous.
"Yes just drinks."
The concept is entirely new to him. He keeps talking about the refrigerators. When we get inside Jubal asks, "Where it is?"

I show him the refrigerators full of drinks. Quickly I spot the kids drinks where his favorites, Tummy Ticklers are. There are different characters on the tops of them from various movies. I find a Thomas the Tank-engine one and show it to Jubal.
"Oooh! Thomas."

Next we stop at the park.
"I woan go over bidge!"
So we take our drinks and head across the grass.
"Come on slowpoke!" I say.
"Yes, you're being so slow."
Jubal continues his snail like pace. "I so swow?"

The grass is green and on the ground the wind blows a few dead leaves recently pushed off by the new growth on the trees. The park we are at is lovely. A healthy duck filled canal marks the edge on one side. It flows into the Blackwater River where it will make its way though the town and eventually to the Bay. There is a boat launch where the canal meets the river. A skipping happy stream runs through middle of the park. Near the entrance some bushes are blooming pink, we hear children playing, and when we get closer to the stream, the water plashing along. Jubal and I look down at the water.

"Look over there, Jubal. See where that water is falling down? That is called a water fall. It is just a small one though."
"It waterfall? A mall one?"
"Look Jubal, where the water is going. Where do you think it is going?"
"I doan know."
"Lets follow it and see."
"Oh, yes!"

Jubal talks about the terrain. "Now we go up hill, and now we haff go down hill..."
I spot some plants growing in the water. "Look Jubal, see those plants in the water? Some plants grow in the water and some grow in the ground." I pointed from the water plants to the grass.
"And we walk on the ground, but do you remember Jubal how Jesus walked on the water?"
"Yes! But we can't walk on wawer. We get wet."
"Yes, we'll get wet."

We come to another bridge and a bunch of cattails.
"Oh!" Jubal says, "We haff go over bidge!"
We take a moment to look over the railing.
"Look where all the water is going to those plants. We can't see the water anymore." I explain, "If we follow the plants though we can still follow the water because we know those plants are growing in the water."

At various places I point out to him how we can still see the water. Then we come to the other parking lot and can see the Blackwater River.
"Oh! this wawer go to river!" Jubal is excited.
"Yes it does."
"Oh, can we go to riwer?" my little brother is holding my hand and he holds it a little tighter in his excitement.
"Yes, we can. Do you want to go on the dock?"

We climb onto the dock by the boat launch and look at the water. Two ducks swim by. Further on I see a bunch of turtles sunning themselves amongst some branches and upon the rocks.

"Look Jubal, the ducks are swimming this way. They think we have some food for them but we don't." They swim under the duck and we turn and keep watching them. "What color is that ducks head Jubal?"
"It drinking water!" Sure enough, the ducks are dipping their heads in the water and drinking.
"Yes they are, they must be thirsty."
"Yes they thirsty. Not eny more!"
"No not anymore. But, Jubal what color is that ducks head?"
"Oh, it back."
"Yes and green. Black and green."
"What color is that duck head?" Jubal asks me.
"It's brown and white." The ducks swim away. We walk to the edge of the dock and I point towards the turtles. "Look over there. Those are turtles sunning themselves on the rocks. Guess what Jubal, someday I want to catch a turtle and make turtle soup and eat it."
We are walking back towards the play ground now.
Jubal says matter-of-factly. "But I'm not hungry."
"I'm not hungry either. But sometime when I am I want to have turtle soup."

At the playground had fun going through the tunnel. I would stick my arms through and tickle him. Sometimes he put his arms through and got me! He enjoyed crossing the wobbly stepping stones over and over and he even climbed up the rock wall! He only went down the slide once though. After playing for a while we sat down on the bench under the shade of a big tree. We finished out drinks and then it was time to go. Of course Jubal didn't want to but we did. On the way back he "read" his Thomas alphabet book to himself. "A, all aboard!" The buttons would say train type things when he mashed the buttons.

Soon we were home and Jubal and I told Mom and Dad all about our day.

I love spending time with Jubal. I love talking with him. I hope you enjoyed reading about our morning and all the fun conversations we had.

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