The sun was warm with a light breeze out of the west and I could tell he had a bad case of spring fever. I had that same look on my face many times when I was in school.
He and his mom stopped by on the pretense that he needed a few blueberries for breakfast, and the best place in Empire, Alabama to get a blueberry fix is at our house.
Our bushes started bearing, and he got to pick the very first one last week.
He helped plant them a few years ago, so he has some sweat equity invested. I’m thrilled he loves to work in the garden with his hands.
Earlier in the spring, he helped us plant tomatoes and peppers. It was then I taught him one of the main lessons that I learned in my Master Gardening Class and that’s, take care of the roots and the plant will grow.
While his mom talked to Jilda, Jordan stepped over to the garden doors and pressed his face against the glass to wait for us to finish talking so that one of us could walk with him down to the garden.
“Do I have to go to school today,” he asked his mom tentatively. She told him he did, but she followed with, “You graduate this week and you’ll be going to the big school.”
He smiled broadly at that bit of information. His grandma Debbie Phillips works at Sumiton School, where he’ll be enrolling in kindergarten in the fall.
He’s down there a lot hanging out while his Nana works. He’s gotten to know most of the teachers and I’m guessing he’s charmed one or two.
So today while the women talked, Jordan and I headed down to the blueberries. He picked several warm berries still wet with morning dew and popped them into his mouth. He closed his eyes while he chewed as if to savor the flavor of Mother Nature’s gift. He picked another cup full to take with him to school.
As he walked blue-tongued out the door, he remembered to ask if we were coming to his graduation ceremony. His Nana was taking off from work long enough to see him graduate.
When I asked who else was coming, he scrunched up one side of his face in deep thought for a moment before saying, “I guess only people who don’t have a job will be there.”
I spewed coffee on the couch, and snorted a little up my nose. Jilda assured him that we would come to his graduation.
I thought about what he said after he left and I realized that being able to see my nieces and nephews reach milestones of their lives is one of the major benefits of retirement. Since I don’t have a job, I have time to enjoy the little things that I could never find time for when I worked.
Those things have always been important, but when you’re working a job, there always seems to be something more urgent that must be done.
But in the scheme of things, what could be more important than watching a little one receive his first diploma. I’m sorry that all those with a job had to miss it.