The Rock

Every family has them….stories that are told over and over again. Maybe they bring a sense of comfort or laughter, maybe both? Many of the following essays will be just that, a myriad of stories that involve Noah, our family and (mis) adventure.

We live on Daylilly Farms a thirteen acre, multigenerational plot that houses three to four generations at any given time. There are two houses, a migrant home turned schoolroom, two sheds and two barns on the property. The land is surrounded by woods, but there is a lot of grass. From March until October, someone is always on a mower, tractor or using a weedeater.

One of mom’s chores is mowing our beautiful, winding looonnnggg driveway. When she was looking for a property to buy, she came upon our current location. As she turned down the lane in mid fall, with the leaves changing and the colors bursting, she declared that regardless of what was at the end of the lane, she was purchasing this land! Thankfully, there was a cute ranch style home waiting for her to make it her own.

When mom mows, she has some of her greatest epiphanies. Sometimes, she mows when she’s mad or when she’s working out issues in the family. Regardless, everyone knows when she’s on the mower because she often sets the level for cutting grass too low. We know this because we hear the crunching of gravel or wood. Perhaps we have to push to get the mower unstuck or it runs out of gas.

On this particular day, Noah was about seven months old. He was taking a nap on my bed downstairs. I had the windows opened, the curtains were fluttering, a picturesque afternoon. I could hear mom and the mower grinding up the pebbles outside the arbor.

All of a sudden we heard a horrific grinding of the motor and a pinging of rocks on the side of the house. One rock must have gotten stuck in the belt because the mower came to a stop. Mom came sheepishly inside to ask for help.

I didn’t want to leave Noah asleep when I ran outside, so I decided to grab him before we went to look at the latest mishap. When I walked into the room, a three inch boulder rock had sailed through the screen and was lying on the bed inches away from Noah’s head!

I hollered for Mom who came in, saw the rock and gasped. Not only was there a huge hole in the screen, but Noah’s head was a mere inch or two away from being cracked by a lawn mower projectile.

Noah now 16 wants to hear ‘The Rock” story every time he hears mom mow. The legend has morphed so many times. When Noah retells it, sometimes his head was gushing with blood, other times we had to call 911. I’ve even heard him recite the story as if he is a youth walking and talking and not a seven month old baby. If we are really lucky, sometimes he re-enacts the tragedy.

They say that family stories that reflect trials and triumphs are an important kind of communication. It builds family unity and binds hearts together. Noah lives in a world where he is the super hero. Being a part of his adventure has helped me to experience life with a different set of eyes.

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