Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dandelions and lilacs...

We had a very pleasant weekend here at the Tatro homestead. Saturday morning Lincoln got up bright and early to go fishing at Governor Dodge State Park. Now, I slept through most of that and had no part in it, but it makes me happy that he went because i know it makes him happy. I'm definitely more whiny about the injustice of having no time to myself. He gets Lincoln-time so rarely and yet never complains about it. Plus he has been wanting to explore new and old hobbies and develop his talents more, so it's good to see him reconnecting with himself.
After fishing and breakfast and the usual Saturday morning fight about room cleaning, we went to the girls' soccer game. We were running a little bit late, if you can believe that, so we pulled up and told the girls to run down to the field while we parked and got the little ones unloaded. By the time we got down to the field the coaches had the girls already on the field and Julia was in tears. Considering all the anxiety she's had about playing in the games, I was a bit irritated that they hadn't been more sensitive to her concerns. Of course I was being a bit of a mother hen and had my feathers all ruffled and pulled her off the field. Taking the analogy a step further, she literally buried her head up in my jacket under my wings. Now we were faced with a decision. Make good on our promise that she could sit out of the games, or push her to do it because we were so sure she would end up having fun. Being the lying, tough love parents we are, we pushed her to go out and play. About 20 minutes into it she finally went out on the field. And you know what? Parents really do know what's best. She ended up having a good time.

I was so proud of my girls. I know it's only their first game and I'm ridiculously pathetic, but I couldn't help but have visions of them playing varsity soccer together in 10 years. I could just hear the comments: Those Tatro girls are a force to be reckoned with! The Tatro Sisters are unstoppable! I need my 2 best defenders on the Tatro girls! Anyway, they really got in there and did their thing. They each scored a goal and Kennedy seems to have a natural ability for defense. She was slide tackling left and right. Lincoln and I were cheering and yelling and shouting advice and then it hit me. I said to him, "Are we THOSE parents?" His reply, "I think we are." It was lots of fun and I'm looking forward to next week's game.

After soccer we spent the day doing yard work- pulling weeds, raking grass, mowing lawns, spreading fresh mulch, edging- and didn't quit til bedtime. We did take a break to go out to dinner together. The girls were really helpful and it was fun to spend the day working as a family.
Sunday morning as we drove to church, I was engrossed in flower-watching as we drove. Sunday morning flower-watching is a habit learned from my father. In the springtime he had every flower bed between our home and church memorized. We would watch to see who had new daffodils up and whose tulips blossomed first. Yesterday i saw long stretches with no blooms but dandelions to look at. Dandelions are fun and sunny and closely wrapped around my youth. (Ever play Mama had a baby and its head popped off? Kind of morbid in retrospect, but innocent enough at the time.) I was thinking about dandelions and that as a kid they represented the approaching summer break. When the grounds around the school were speckled with them, we knew the end was drawing near. That triggered another memory of the last few weeks of school. I remember the teachers throwing open the windows in May and June and the scent of the lilac blossoms outside the window flooding the classroom. Oh how I itched to be outside picking dandelions and lilacs! For the past six years living in the south I didn't see lilac bushes. I hadn't even thought about lilac bushes in several years. But Sunday morning the place in my mind and heart where lilac bushes have been dwelling was thrown open and the memories around them came spilling out. I thought of the lilac bushes in our backyard growing up. They were actually technically the neighbor's, i think. But they grew right on the line. I remember picking them and Mom always saying something about picking Mrs. Proper's lilacs. The Propers were patient and long-suffering folks. But that's another post altogether. Another favorite pastime of my father's was to take us out for a drive to look for cellars where homes of our ancestors had once stood. This usually involved a drive down a dirt road and some tramping around in mosquito-infested woods as Dad said, "It should be right around here, I think." Don't misunderstand, I loved these adventures. What does it have to do with lilacs? Dad taught us clues to look for when searching for cellars. There would usually be big old maple trees in a row that had once lined the front yard of the house, and there were quite often lilac bushes growing immediately around the foundation. Being an old-fashioned bush, they often had been planted close to the house, probably near a window. Decades later, the house was gone and the lilac bushes would be taking over. And so, Sunday morning, with these thoughts in my head, I was excited when we got into town to see lilac bushes all over the place with buds on them. I can't wait to see them next Sunday on the way to church. I'm hoping some will be in bloom and I'll be able to open the car window and fill my lungs with their memory-drenched scent.


Terri_B said...

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Audrey said...

hi molly!
every now and then I check your site...:0) kids are growing up so fast! beach trip looked like a blast, had so much fun the year i went. luv ya'- audrey g.

Virginia Burnett said...

So that's where old Beorn got his flower watching habit. I should have known Dad was responsible. A few weeks ago Bry got busy ranking lawns on the way to church as haves and have nots - in terms of daffodils. We do not have enough daffodils for his taste. He cannot imagine why anyone would not have daffodils. I'm thinking "um, Yellow?"

Longhurst Family said...

You sure have got into this blogging thing. Where are you getting the time to write such novels? Do tell! :)
I was telling Jen-Lee and Anita I would try not to be offended about not being invited to hang out with all the cool people at the beach. ;P

Jenn-Lee said...

Molly!!! Oh-I miss you!!! I have been sucha stranger! I just read lots on your blog and have to say I am always so amazed at your abaility to write. Truly a blessing and a gift! I loved your story! I love love love reading your childhood memories. I think if I dug deep enough I could find some but I sadly do not have many memories of my childhoos? Weird isn't it? I wish I was more observant as a child. Hope you have a great week! Miss you!Thanks for sharing!

Jenn-Lee said...

how is it I always miss stinking typos!!!! :)