They are all asking. It’s May and Mother’s Day is a little bit early this year. What do you want for Mother’s Day? Is it too early to plant the flowers? Is it still too cold in Vermont? Is there something new you want this year?
We always plant the annuals together on Mother’s Day, and haul the plants and flowers that have been wintering inside back out to the porches. They bring me coffee and the NYT in bed, and we all snuggle around the bedroom for a while before dragging ourselves out to the dirt. In hot years there are pitchers of water laced with cucumbers, and cold ones fat mugs with foamy lattes keep us going.
This year I am planting a vegetable garden. The patch has been chosen and cleared and so there will be spring peas and green beans to plant. And I want the same things I always want. To be with these people we made, and plant toward a future of badminton, and coffee and croissants on the patio with the chickens.
But Hannah called and asked if I was sure I don’t want to look at the list. She meant the list we all always carry around with us in our heads. The list of hopes and plans that are too big for a regular Tuesday, but might get considered around some special holiday or vacation. The lists our family had to put in abeyance during the days of the Alamo when the Horrible Quaint Country Store was busy ruining us financially. She wondered if we all shouldn’t drag out our lists and see if there wasn’t something on them we should make happen this year. Maybe she’s right. Maybe we should.
My list has a rowboat on it. You know it’s romantic and white, meant for two, only I mainly imagine myself with my book in sunshiny water. It has a square rear end with a pointy front end thing like Kathryn Hepburn rowed around in wearing a big hat in On Golden Pond. I covet a row boat. Now there is one little, hardly worth mentioning really, detail. We don’t live on the water. Plus I don’t exactly know how I would get it into the lakes that are nearby. Believe me I have thought about it. I imagine some mechanical thingy on the top of the car, like we use for holding skis and Christmas trees, balancing my boat. I have surfed countless websites and found the perfect little boat, only weighs sixty pounds. But I get stuck imagining what happens when I get to the parking area at the lake and still have that long trek through the woods down to the water.
There is also living in Italy for a year somewhere on the list. And I want to live there with all of these people. If we keep putting it off they might have wives or God forbid jobs.
For many seasons over many years living in Vermont was on the list. So it just goes to show having the thing is the fist step to all the rest of it.
But this year, our girl will be home from her freshman year at Mt Holyoke. The big one has only one college semester to go and he will be here too. The little one will be showing off the skills he is learning in his wilderness class, and we will all be planting the garden and raking the rocks around the patio. This and they are everything I want right now, for today, here in this place. But we should look at their lists. Maybe there are a few country fairs, or summer concerts, or weekend trips to a cabin in the woods on one of theirs. We will bring our lists to the Mother’s Day morning coffee and eggs. Because you just never know….
What’s on your list?