ever since it dawned on us the other night how dire the situation with the runt tree is, Dave’s taken to watering it in the evenings.  birches are thirsty creatures.  we know that our weeding/nitrate-enriching measures – however highly recommended by Tree Doctor Google – likely won’t save it, but trying feels better than sitting back and watching it wither.

on Saturday, before bedtime, Oscar “helped” Dave tote the big bucket from the tap on the side of the house back to the shady corner where the trees stand.  i watched them, Dave adjusting his pace to that of O’s stubby, eager little legs, the big hand and the small balancing the handle between them.

it was Canada Day yesterday…and it was hot.  stinkin’ hot.  after a jaunt to the petting zoo with Daddy and Nannie, Oscar spent the late afternoon lounging in his backyard blow-up pool.  because his is a glamourous life.

i was parked in a lawnchair beside said pool, cooling my feet in the three-inch depths of grassy, chilly water, being busily splashed by my son.  Dave was drinking a beer. the big bucket with which the pool had been filled lay upturned beside it on the lawn.

when Oscar picked up the bucket and dipped it into the pool, i looked at him.  quizzically.  i didn’t realize he had fully mastered the zen art of water transference, so when he hoisted the bucket and trotted off with it and its contents most determinedly, i was puzzled.  i asked him what he was doing.

wawa dee, said he.

i speak Oscar-ese pretty fluently, but this took me a second.  i cocked my head and peered at him, and he repeated himself, a hint of exasperation in his voice.  like, duh, mama…wawa dee.  poor beleaguered Oscar, his parents dumb as muffins.  he gave up on me and toddled off across the lawn, heaving the bucket fully half his size along with him.

and he watered the tree, the dying tree, of his own volition.  his brother’s tree.

and his father and i sat with our feet in the kiddie pool in the hot sun, tears in our eyes…but of pride, not sorrow.
Oscar working


in non-tree-related news, the lovely and literate Mad nominated century for a Perfect Post this month.  Mad, thank you.  a post nominally about children’s literature, nominated by a children’s librarian who doesn’t even really like Anne of Green Gables?  dude, you made me feel like a writer.   :)