For Cathy

I thought of her this afternoon, my hands clearing out the fresh holes for the daisies. I thought of her post about her "ally", her boy turning 33 this week. I like to think of her quiet days puttering about in her gardens and how she likes to sink back on the grass, her garden trowel at her side, taking time to really enjoy the moment, her beagle sniffing out new smells.

Her description of an "ally" makes me smile. I think of my own ally, my red headed boy, sniffling his way through his classes at the high school today, fighting both allergies and a sinus infection. I smile at his volunteering to plant his "Just Joey" rose bush, the future blossoms the color of his hair. He's so amused by Life, the teeniest, tiniest grin playing about his mouth for much of his day. He's quick to laugh these days, at himself or at me, mostly me, but that's okay. His laughter at my antics reassures me of his love for me. 

I dig another hole and pop in the next daisy, patting down the fresh dirt, and wonder at the relationship a mother and son have. I have to be honest with myself and say that I really didn't like him much as a baby, a newborn. Love him, yes, I loved him the minute I saw that head of bright red curls. I cried when they held him up for me to see, so overwhelmed at this second chance that was given me, another chance to raise a son. But he was a colicky baby, crying from late afternoon till his bedtime, making supper time an aerobic exercise for me. Meg was so good, helping strap him in the baby carrier, chattering on about her kindergarten class, stopping to shush her brother or covering her ears when his cries reached fever pitch. The first two months were just about survival. But then he discovered cereal and sitting up and Life became good again. He giggled and smiled and clapped his hands. He became Jolly Joe and I fell head over heels in "Like" with him. It's been that way ever since. 

I spot a ladybug and begin to take her picture, guiding her and coaxing her back to the fried egg middle of the flower. Our relationship, our "allied front" is like no other togetherness I've felt. We're the babies of our families, we understand what it's like to have "seconds", to not be first all the time. I think that has taught us patience with the world and a sense of amused bemusement at all the ridiculousness that is carried on around us. We understand each other without having to explain ourselves. We have quick tempers, blunt tempers that are like summer thunderstorms, but are quick to dissipate and lose steam, leaving no hurt feelings behind. We both adore each other without bounds. I look upon him and am amazed that he's my son, my second chance.

My ally.