The Lml Collection, Volume Ii: G'Nights:the Dialect of Home
The first boy cap on the first boy haircut, for the first day of school. All the tragedy of all change in that haircut to mother. Epochal barbering that shears away an era of life! Mother has saved one lock from the ruin. Sweetest years are locked away with that curl in mother's drawer.
First Day of School
Coal wagons are beginning to crunch the gravel driveways. They still use horses to haul coal in our town. The roar of anthracite down the shute draws all the children on the street. The coal man takes the ice man's place in their interest. The ice man's boy has gone back to school. Next week he'll be in football armor and his customers' children will cheer him as their hero.
Signs of Fall
I'm not pounding her head. I'm just patting it. Der, der, don't cry, ittle baby. Can't I just rub it? Why hasn't she got any eye winkers? Won't she get dirt in her eyes? What does she chew the air that way for? I guess she's hungry
O, Dad, put it in the paper that Stewie found a snake. I'll tell you how to write it. Stewie Downs picked up a snake on the street where he lives an' swinged it round his head an' then he threw it away. Gee I 'most ran right into it on my tryke. I thought it was a piece of rope or somethin'.
Do you love me? How much, a bushel? Do you love Grammy a bushel too? How much do you love Mummy? Do you love the baby a bushel? How much do you love Tip? Just as much as the baby? Mummy only loves Tip half as much as the baby. She loves the baby and me the same and you and Grammy the same. I asked her if she didn't love Tip as much as the baby and she said no he's only a puppy. Poor old Tippy. I love Tippy two bushels and the baby two bushels and you three bushels and Mummy four bushels.
To Go To School Or To Be Sick?
But this coldness in greeting the expected Spring is broken down at supper:
"We played a marble game this afternoon," begins the first grade member.
"What was the game?" encourages his mother.
Then philosophic crunching of his toast.
"Dad, will you buy me some more marbles?"
Boys have to be nagged now about rubbers and coats. But the season is especially hard on dogs. While the ground is muddy the best-bred canine is persona non grata in kitchen or entry, but he cannot yet dig to bury bones and so his bones litter the yard to be confiscated by neat housewife or reluctant husband.
The roaring twenties were in full swing in Boston while my grandfather, Louis M. Lyons, was a reporter for The Boston Globe. After running down the big city stories of the day, he would take the 5:20 PM train north out of Boston to Reading where he would enter the family home on 24 Vale Road and greet those eagerly awaiting his daily return to being Dad.
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