I don’t think that I’ll ever get tired of watching these baby birds! They’re so cute, and they change so fast, (much like my children)–everyday, there’s something new to see!
Turkey was very excited so see that their spotted feathers have grown in. He had read about this in one of the dozen or so bird books we got from the library, and has been telling us that we need to be on the lookout for the spots, because that’s what identifies robins as members of the thrush family. The things you can learn from an eight-year-old!
I imagine they’ll be testing their wings, soon. We’re all going to miss them when they leave the nest!
I think the Uniform Monday Holiday Act is a complete travesty, and those who were serving in Congress when it passed should be ashamed of themselves. Turning Memorial Day, which should be observed on May 30th, regardless of the day of the week, into a three-day weekend celebration, has completely detracted from its intended purpose.
Memorial Day is not a party holiday. It’s not a day to get drunk with your friends, to have a long weekend, or even to have a neighborhood barbecue–although, if you were planning on grilling out for dinner, anyway, I certainly can’t complain, because the weather is finally right for it.
Memorial Day is not the “unofficial” start of summer. Not a day to open the pool or have a volleyball tournament. Certainly not a day to spend at the races. Why can’t we give the first full weekend in June that distinction–summer’s official start *is* in June, after all.
Memorial Day is certainly not an excuse for stores to have big three-day sales. We don’t need early birds and night owls and lowest prices of the season this weekend. Not that stores seem to need an actual reason to have a sale anymore, anyway.
Memorial Day is not even the proper day to thank your neighbor who has served in the military. Save that for every other day–they deserve it! But that’s not what Memorial Day is for.
Memorial Day, is, as its name suggests, a day to remember. To remember those brave men and women who gave their lives in service to our great country. To thank their surviving families for making the ultimate sacrifice.
Go to a parade to honor our fallen soldiers today. Visit a memorial or cemetery. Fly your flag at half-staff, but only until noon. Have a moment of silence (preferably at three o’clock, local time), to ponder what some gave, and to thank God for those willing to give their all.
But please, don’t turn this somber day into an excuse to party. There are plenty of other summer days for that. Let today be what it’s supposed to be–a day to commemorate U.S. Service Members who died in military service, and to remember how fortunate we are that there are men and women who have been willing to defend a country full of people they’ve never even met to the bitter end.
“The sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them.” Ronald Reagan, Memorial Day 1982
It’s been a week and a half since we sat in the Commissioner’s Box at Busch Stadium to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary, and I’m just now coming up with words to describe how cool it was!
We got to the stadium before the gates opened (of course!). We weren’t going to miss a moment of our special day, plus, it gave us a chance to take some pictures. While Ryan was busy getting the perfect shot of the statue of “Stan the Man,” I took a picture of him. Taking a picture of someone who is, himself, taking a picture, amuses me for some reason.
Finally, the gates opened, and we headed down to the Commissioner’s Box (the section of green seats–yeah, those were ours!). That’s right, I said down. It’s not often that we have field level seats, so it was strange to not have to go up endless ramps, stairs, and/or escalators! We were greeted by a team of Busch Stadium employees–two women, who were in charge of the seating, and two men, who would be our waiters for the evening. We were invited to go down onto the field for batting practice, to get our picture taken in the Cardinals dugout, (so cool!), and to get started on ordering the endless amounts of food we could have.
There are so many things you notice being that close to the action. I watched the players warm-up before the game–fascinating, especially when the trainer gets involved. It occasionally looked painful, but I’m assuming they knew what they were doing.
I especially liked this sign–it reminded me of a certain notorious incident involving the Cubs. I’m assuming those signs have always been there, but again, I’ve never been close enough to see it before!
For some reason, I was also especially amused watching the catcher, (Molina), pitcher, (Lohse), and pitching coach, (Dave Duncan), walking to and from the bullpen before the game. Yet another little detail I might have *seen* before, but not really processed who the players were, or where they were going.
Our view of the field during the game was amazing. We had an especially good view of first base, but the rest of it was also fantastic!
The game itself wasn’t the most exciting–not that I’m complaining. It was pretty obvious the Cards were going to win, and that was fine by me. It would have been a major bummer to see a losing game from those seats on our anniversary! But, because it wasn’t a particularly tense game, we could pay attention to some other things we might have missed. We could see players blowing bubbles with their gum–funny. We got to watch the photographers working in the camera pit, and we were so close, we could even hear the shutters on their cameras. We had a great view of the police officer assigned to the Cardinals dugout, which was a little weird, but also comforting when the guy sitting next to me, and the guy across the aisle from Ryan looked like they were about to get into a fist fight (the only downside to our evening).
My favorite part, though, was watching the players in the dugout. The pitchers, especially, seemed to be having a good time, and they were always all hanging out together. We saw Adam Wainwright throwing sunflower seeds at this teammates, and we also saw how good-natured he is–he tipped his cap to a group of fans behind us who were chanting his name. (They also got a wave from Jose Oquendo.)
We also got to see Pete Kozma in his Major League debut, which was really cool. He even got an RBI double, which was very exciting, and for that night, he was batting 1.000! Guess who they named the “star of the game” afterward? He said the first thing he was going to do was call his parents–how sweet!
Ryan arranged to have our names on the scoreboard, but in all of the Kozma excitement, I almost didn’t see it. As a matter of fact, Ryan didn’t see it at all, and it will always annoy me that I didn’t get a picture of it. At least one of us saw it, though!
It was a great night–such a fun experience to be treated like a VIP for the game. And the ending was just what we hoped for–a Cardinals win!
For some reason, in the last few days, the mother and father robins have decided that they don’t trust me as much anymore, so I’ve had a more difficult time getting pictures, but they did let me sneak out there this afternoon.
The baby robins have tiny little wing feathers, now. I’m also surprised that no one has fallen out of the nest–they’re pretty crammed in there. According to our bird book, they should be opening their eyes by now, but I haven’t been able to verify that–they’re still sleeping a lot. We can hear them “tweeting” during feeding time when our windows are open, and they’re big enough that we can even occasionally see them stretching their necks out to eat from the front window.
“Seventeen years ago we both died inside, but somehow we survived. For better or worse that’s all we can do. Survive, and maybe one day, forget how much it can hurt to be human.” Jerry Doyle as Michael Garibaldi on Babylon 5
Today was Moose’s last day of school before his graduation tomorrow. I was surprised to find that it was almost more difficult dropping him off for his last day of Early Childhood Education than it was dropping him off for his first day, two and a half years ago, but for completely different reasons.
When I had to leave him at the school that November day, I was so worried about how he would do. He couldn’t talk, and so I worried about how he would communicate with his teachers, and let them know what he needed, as well as how he would communicate with us when he got home, to let us know how his day was, and if he was happy at school. I worried about him being just barely three, which was, (and still is), in my opinion, too young to be away from home, at least for a “normal” child, (which, of course, he was not).
Today, my worries are about the future. How will he do in Kindergarten? Will he be able to keep up with all that’s expected of him? Because the expectations will be higher, and to be perfectly frank, Kindergarten “counts.” He *has* to be there, while ECE was always optional, and we could have removed him from the program at any time, if it hadn’t gone well.
Now, I know he’s surpassed what I thought he could do in ECE, so I’m assuming the same will happen in Kindergarten, and I’ll be pleasantly surprised, (and reassured). But I also know that things will be hard for him…I don’t know how hard, and I don’t know in which ways, but he will have struggles, I’m sure. And I would do anything to be able to take those struggles away from him, because I don’t want to see him get hurt.
And so, just as I did the day I first dropped him off, I shed tears. Not because I didn’t want to leave him, which was the source of my tears that first day, but because now, I don’t want him to have to leave the comfort and familiarity of the program I was so worried about leaving him with in the first place.
I saw a cardinal in our backyard the other day (bird, not baseball player), and I was struck by how beautiful its bright red feathers looked against the green of the grass and trees outside. That got me remembering a conversation I had with Turkey a few years ago, in the Fall, when he was about four years old…
We were in the car, probably going to Target or something, and we were talking about how beautiful the trees looked with all of their different colored leaves. He was wondering why leaves change color–not in a scientific way, more of a philosophical way–and he immediately answered his own question: “Because God likes beautiful things!”
It sounds cute and sweet, but it’s also so very true. You only have to look around to realize how much God loves beauty–nature is full of it! Flowers, trees, birds–there is beauty all around us, but sometimes, it takes a four-year-old’s point of view to remind us of it!