I wrote this piece in my very first empty nest year; a mere six months after my babies fled the nest.
It feels like cheating to repeat myself, but today when I came home, the big icy pond had reformed in my yard, and my thoughts went back to these memories, and to this post.
Every year, in the very early spring, a little pond forms in the front of our yard. As the snow melts along the driveway, the water collects in a low spot, pooling around the trees and bushes. Ice clings to the edges of the drive, holding the water in place for a while, but slowly retreating as the sun warms and the earth reappears. The pond is cold and murky, filled with rotting leaves and broken branches. It is perfect for stirring with a big stick. It is a magnet for little boys.
There were many spring days in the past when my sons would put on their boots and march forth into the icy water. I always knew that the boots, worn down by the long winter, were the slimmest protection from the frigid water, but I felt like I was doing my duty by insisting that they be…
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