Happy Birthday, Mom

It seemed fitting, the idea of celebrating my mom’s birthday by being outdoors.

We’d planned a family trip to Meadowlark Gardens, a place that Mom enjoyed. But the day turned out to be chilly and windy, and we were afraid that the kids–especially the one with an aversion to socks, coats, and closed-toed shoes–would fuss so much that we’d end up leaving after a few minutes and regret paying admission.

So we headed to “Mom’s Park” instead.

walking-by-the-pond

Of course when we arrived those cold children headed straight for the pond.

fishing

thinking-by-the-pond

We had a nice walk. Although I wouldn’t have predicted it beforehand, it felt right being there with my family, and hearing their stories about Mom and the place, such as

cat-tails

planting cat tails with our church’s youth mission camp, and

rick

my brother constructing these life preserver rings for his Eagle Scout project, and

persimmon

how Mom talked about the resident foxes loving persimmons.

If you’ve read much of my blog, you’ll know I’m at Claude Moore Park all the time, so I hadn’t realized how seldom my brother and sister-in-law go. This was the first time they’d experienced the Discovery Grove; a place that was so special to Mom, a labor of love into which she poured her years of experience with and passion for teaching children about nature. I’m glad they got to see what she’d created.

rick-and-sara-in-the-discovery-grovedad-abba-and-henry-in-the-discovery-grove

Life will never be the same for us with her gone, and all of these firsts will be hard, but I think she would have been glad for us to spend her birthday together in the park she loved and cared for so well.

me

Happy Birthday, Mom.

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About rbpepper

Rebecca is an artist, writer, and photographer with degrees in Theater and Social Work, and is currently a Stay at Home Mom to her three kids. Some part of her house is always a mess, she lets her kids paint on the table and design their own costumes, and she makes excellent allergen-free cookies. She lives with her equally creative husband and children in a part of Virginia known for being "pretty close to Dulles Airport", and dreams of moving to an old farmhouse in New England.
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