Lyla turned four years old on Thursday. On Friday, Tres picked me up after school and we were on the way to Elizabeth City to celebrate. Brant and Sydney joined us on Saturday. Lyla had gotten her first bike, from Will and Jenny, and so it rained, as it often does, when children get a bike. We were set to attend a festival too, which seems to evoke rain, as well. Not to be outdone, Jenny concocted a last minute plan to go to an indoor facility with all sorts of games and activities -and so, Lyla soon forgot all about the band and the petting zoo, she was looking forward to.
Afterwards, we all came back to the house for cake and ice cream amongst Lylas’ beloved decorations. Lyla is such a domestic soul, after all. She loves her dolls, cooking and just like her grandmother, Miss Claudia loved to decorate for occasions. Miss Claudia had a wreath hung for every holiday-including sporting seasons. Lyla, I expect will follow suit.
The cake was presented with great ceremony, which thrilled Lyla. Since the rain had let up, Will took Lyla with a doll, in her basket, out to practice riding her bike. The little boys found a mud hole to play in. The littlest boy, eventually took most of his soiled clothing off, which really tickled me. He was but a few months older than Lyla, after all, and childhood affords such liberty. When the guests left, Tres and i cooked supper . He did the grilling and I worked in the kitchen, while Jenny gave the girls a bath, for Lyla had chocolate, from head to toe. When at long last, the children and the kitchen were clean, a peace settled in . Lttle Brynn, has a cold and she went fast to sleep. I looked in on Sydney and Lyla snuggled in a bed watching old cartoons and the young men were watching a ballgame, quietly, against all odds. Dear Diary, My heart was so happy.
I can scarce take in that Lyla is four! I watched her riding her little bicycle and marveled at the slyness of time. It is startling to consider. I know first hand, that children grow up in “a flash” , and as it turns out, so do grandchildren. Oh, I shouldn’t waste a single hour of this beautiful life!
I got up early on Sunday. First there was the breakfast and I planned on making a Mexican soup for folks to carry home with them. Brant and Sydney had to leave early and Tres couldn’t tarry, either. While the coffee brewed, I went out and was greeted by the tanager. It was good to see he had stayed. Oh how I wished to see his mate, but the yellow bird does not venture far from her nest.
True to their word, all did rise pretty early. There was a scurry of showers – and suitcases and bags were being brought out. Car keys were laying in plain sight, and oh, how it all dampened my spirit. Jenny and I packed a box with cake and soup for Brant and Sydney. We hugged several times, as if we lived on different continents (which makes me shudder, to think about) and Lyla cried. By the time, Brant and Sydney had driven a mile, Tres said we would need to leave shortly.
Tres had a long drive ahead of him. He works a full time job and goes to school full time. Tres writes papers, that I can not made heads nor tails of-He certainly does not write about such things as violets and young rabbits. I knew right from the start , that Tres was the intellectual sort, for he “wondered” about everything, from a young age. Still, he will waltz with Lyla and coo back to little Brynn. He also loves to cook and travel.
Lyla and I made a dash to visit with Miss Thelma, before I had to leave. I had given Lyla a lesson on visiting etiquette. I prefaced it with “since you are four . . ” and Lyla took it very seriously. She followed every rule, which took great restraint. Miss Thelma was pleased to see a well mannered young child -and so was I. In the “old days”, when I was a child, manners were taught with great diligence. I can remember my grandmama saying ” Even if you didn’t have good sense, you ought to know how to act.” Adults would stop in mid conservation, to correct a careless child, for it was that important. When we came back home, and Lyla was in “earshot” I told everybody of her success. Only God knows what will happen next time, but today was a victory!
Tres and were back at the rabbitpatch, by one. We had listened to a lecture on the way there, but on the way back, we talked. I listened to my sons’ dreams of living out west for a while, and then California, maybe go back to Europe . . .for he has already done quite a bit of wandering. My heart lurched at the prospect of all this traveling, but I encouraged him anyway. My son was speaking his truth and above all, I want my children to live their truth. He softened every new dialogue, with “but I will always come back home, a lot, Mom.”
It was a beautiful day. Dogwoods dotted the countryside. Wisteria and jasmine adorned the edges of the woodlands. Great clouds of pollen gusted through the air. It was spring and the little wildflowers blooming all along the roadside were proof of of it.
The rabbitpatch was mighty quiet after all of the commotion of the last few days. My azaleas and dogwoods were not yet blooming. The sycamore was covered in new tender green leaves. The spirea had faded a bit. The hydrangeas were starting to leaf out and some of the running periwinkle was blooming. Birds were singing and chattering. You would have thought the rabbitpatch community was all in cahoots to cheer me up . . but it didn’t work.
It never fails, after a gathering with my children. I am downtrodden and melancholy, when we part. I am not a foolish young mother . . .I am an OLD foolish mother. Why I have not ‘grown out of this” is beyond me. I miss them every one thoroughly -and I wish I had made more soup. I wish I had tucked little love notes in their bags and on and on I go working myself into a sad state. I didn’t make the pancakes for Lyla and I left laundry for Jenny and poor little Brynn has a cold! Oh, if only they all came in for supper every night, I could manage.
Being an old hand at mourning, after a holiday, I knew the remedy. I reminded myself how blessed I was to have my children. They are loving and devoted children to me . . . and very importantly, to one another. We do not quarrel, but instead lift one another up. We are as likely to boast on each other, as anything. . . and as Tres says . . .”They all come home . . .and often.