Something to Miss

The boys have lived the three and four years of their lives in the same community with a mother who believes in “adventures.” Before they moved from Maryland to Mississippi, their mama took them back for final visits and sent me pictures of places they will miss. The nostalgia may be more hers than theirs since they aren’t old enough yet to understand about “lasts” or that their favorite haunts will be too far away for a quick run any more.

They visited Brookside Gardens that took a couple of hours to circle when they were in strollers and diapers. Now Mama tried to keep up as they looped around in about forty-five minutes. As if the animals knew this was good-bye, fifteen turtles showed up in the turtle pond where the boys usually saw one or two. Another day they went to the nearby creek and enjoyed strolling through the woods and hopping across the stones in the water.

The “things to miss” pictures made me recall a favorite quote from Sarah, Plain and Tall that has often come to my mind when I have left things I will miss to move to a new place. Prospective stepdaughter Anna worries that Sarah will miss the sea and her family too much to leave her home in Maine to become Papa’s bride. She is relieved when she overhears Sarah tell her new friend Maggie, “There is always something to miss, no matter where you are.”

There are things to miss in Maryland, but things to look forward to in Mississippi. In Hattiesburg, there’s a chocolate birthday cake for Ben’s fourth birthday, baked by Grandpa and decorated by Grandma. A tub of toys waits in the grandparents’ back yard, butterflies hatch on the maypop vines, and hummingbirds fight over the feeders. Hattiesburg will have its own exploits. Since Grandma likes adventures, too, I’m hoping the excursion group will have a new member. Maybe, if I promise to bring cookies . . .