Friday, October 5, 2007

The Green, Green Grass of Home

I've been feeling emotional all week with Hailey's first birthday fast approaching. Here's one more of my favorite things to read when I am feeling this way.

The Green, Green Grass of Home
by Erma Bombeck

When Mike was 2, he wanted a sandbox, and his father said:
"There goes the yard. We'll have kids over here day and
night, and they'll throw sand into the flower beds, and cats
will make a mess in it, and it'll kill the grass for sure."
And Mike's mother said, "It'll come back."

When Mike was 5, he wanted a jungle gym set with swings that
would take his breath away and bars to take him to the summit,
and his father said: "Good grief, I've seen those things in
back yards, and do you know what they look like? Mud holes in
a pasture. Kids digging their gym shoes in the ground. It'll
kill the grass."
And Mike's mother said, "It'll come back."

Between breaths, when Daddy was blowing up the plastic swimming
pool, he warned: "You know what they're going to do to this
place? They're going to condemn it and use it for a missile site.
I hope you know what you're doing. They'll track water everywhere
and have a million water fights, and you won't be able to take
out the garbage without stepping in mud up to your neck. When we
take this down, we'll have the only brown lawn on the block."
"It'll come back," Mike's mother said.

When Mike was 12, he volunteered his yard for a camp out. As they
hoisted the tents and drove in the spikes, his father stood at the
window and observed, "Why don't I just put the grass seed out in
cereal bowls for the birds and save myself the trouble of spreading
it around? You know for a fact that those tents and all those big
feet are going to trample down every single blade of grass, don't
you. Don't bother to answer. I know what you're going to say.
'It'll come back.'"

The basketball hoop on the side of the garage attracted more crowds
than the Olympics. And a small patch of lawn that started out with
a barren spot the size of a garbage can lid soon drew to encompass
the entire side yard.

Just when it looked as if the new seed might take root, the winter
came and the sled runners beat it into ridges. Mike's father shook
his head and said, "I never asked for much in this life - only a
patch of grass."
And his wife smiled and said, "It'll come back."

The lawn this fall was beautiful. It was green and alive and
rolled out like a sponge carpet along the drive where gym shoes had
trod ... along the garage where bicycles used to fall ... and
around the flower beds where little boys used to dig with
iced-tea spoons.

But Mike's father never saw it. He anxiously looked beyond the
yard and asked with a catch in his voice, "he will come back,
won't he?"


Andrea said...

Powerful! It brings tears to my eyes...thanks for another reminder that we must NEVER take for granted our precious time with our little ones...and really, we should NOT care so much about little things like how our yard/house look, etc.

Ashley said...

I think every day this week that I have gone back to work after lunch with red eyes from reading your blog. Erma Bombeck writings makes you realize what is really important in life.

e-Mom said...

The time doth fly! Enjoy each precious moment with Hailey. Hugs, e-Mom said...

I have tears in my eyes! This is powerful!! I know you are enjoying every minute with Hailey!! love you, Grams

Jodie said...

OK - you HAVE to stop it! I've cried every day this week reading your blog - and the hubby left for work again today so I'm extra emotional.

Seriously, though, thank you for the beautiful thoughts. We busy mommy's need to remember that, unfortunately, this won't last forever. Motherhood - yes forever. Small wide-eyed fun loving children who WANT to play with us, not forever.

Have a great weekend!

Tiff said...

WOW! i liked that! Kids are more important than how are lawns or the inside of our house looks. A sign of a messy home is a sign of memories made.

Pam said...

Well, that will make you need a tissue box! Thanks for sharing!

Hannah said...

*sniff-sniff* Thank you.

ZAM said...

Brings tears to my eyes. Yay! But true, I feel so senti over this one. Makes me think to enjoy every moment of today because it will never be the same tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder.

Sharon said...

That was sweet.
I am sure I will feel that way when it is time to hand Julia's hand over in marriage.

ValleyGirl said...

These last two posts are such great reminders of what's REALLY important in our lives. I loved them both.

Laura said...

Really lovely posts, Melanie. Wow - and Happy (impending) Birthday to precious Hailey! It's fun, but I so know - bittersweet - to see them end their first year.

Crazy how much has happened in the last year, no?

Donetta said...

I love this post! It is so true that childhoods are so often lost when it is the error'ed perspective that is held onto.

JennieBoo said...


You know, I never really realized how hard it must have been for my parents when I married Mike.

I really need to call them. I will today.