There is a birthday in the rabbit patch today. Children grow up-I can prove it. I have five-and they all did just that. My son, Tres is thirty one years old today-but I remember a time before now, when he was a child and I was young.
I was quite determined that my children would grow up just a bit uncivilized-and they did. It was easy to accomplish this those days ago-before computers were in every home. Nobody had cable. Most ball games were organized in a back yard or an empty field, by the children. Who ever showed up got to play regardless of age or ability. It was an uncomplicated time and I remain glad of that.
We read a lot of books and raised a lot of animals. We walked many miles through wooded paths and watched meteor showers on blankets in the yard, no matter how odd the hour. They all learned to play the violin and memorized poetry-still, my heart remembers.
I watched them play and predicted their futures by it. Mostly I have been right. Tres was my analytical child who sought answers. He works in research today. When he comes home to the old farmhouse on the rabbit patch, he immediately assesses what repair needs to be done next. Now I listen to him about how to proceed. This is the way Tres loves.
I will not see Tres today. These days we celebrate on whatever day we can get together. How it came to this still shocks me . How does twenty years slip by? It seems impossible, but it did. ” It s mystery to me” as my grandmama would say.
I think it may have been all those details that come with raising children, that confused me. I reckon there’s a cello waiting for me to play it-and a canvas waiting for me to paint it and I console myself with such notions. I have some good friends, and we have good plans. There is the inspiration of the rabbit patch that speaks to me with sweet thoughts.. .and there is Lyla, soon to be rambling in woods and learning to recite poetry by heart. This is a good time too and I am glad of it.
I will think of these things when I say goodnight to the rabbit patch later on tonight. I will speak of my “great expectations” under the millions of stars I have been seeing-and I will remember a spring from a long while back- and with a grateful heart. Happy Birthday, to my Tres.