It was nice to be back at home last weekend for my son’s graduation from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The Loyce (my dad and Joyce) drove to Omaha to pick me up then turned around and drove back to Independence – all in one day. We had a fun trip, hovering around the Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri borders. I stayed in the same bedroom, the same bed, that I grew up in. So many hours were spent daydreaming in that room. At 48 years old, I am happy the majority of those dreams have been exceeded. I am relieved, as well, that some of those hopes turned out to be unsubstantial.
My parents have always tenderly cared for their yard and gardens. It takes a great deal of patience and foresight to grow trees from saplings and young bushes into flowering displays. They possessed that ability. Teachers, even among outdoor life. After all the graduation hoopla was over, it was nice to walk through the yard with Dad, looking at the peonies and Japanese iris, ready to burst. To celebrate with the festive snowball bush, heavy-laden with beautiful white blooms. To inspect a rosebud, just beginning to unfold its layers of fragrant petals. All along the walk, Dad would bend and pull stray weeds, so typical of many days before in my childhood.
The whole weekend we watched a mother robin fly in and out of the nest built in the corner of the back porch. The nest was filled with hungry, churping babies. She brought the fattest worms to them! She was also very protective when anyone got near enough to hurt them.
As we all sat around on the back porch after Baird’s graduation…Anna-Margaret, Craig, Jacqueline, Lauren, Dad, Joyce, Larry, Baird, Hannah, me (& Scott on his way), the mother bird flew in and out of the nest, keeping a watchful eye on us all. It was evident, in the midst of all the commotion and animated conversation and eating and laughing, there was an ever-present Mother, proudly watching her brood…