Turtles and other parents

The mud turtles are busy along the gravel roads this month. We saw at least four laying eggs between here and Tamo last night. So are the skunks, based on the number of ruined nests and empty shells I saw along the same stretch of road.

It must be hard to be a turtle mom.  First, you have to find the right guy, which as we know, is no small task for any member of any species. Then, you have to make turtle whoopie which has to be tricky in the water. Finally, you carry a bunch of ping pong ball sized eggs around in your turtle lady parts until you find the perfect spot to dig a nest with your back feet. You put your eggs filled with hopes and dreams in a hole, pee on the whole thing, and waddle back to the lake.

But if you miscalculate and lay your eggs in the wrong place, a skunk comes along for a midnight snack and all that work was for nothing. Zip. Zilch. I mean, honestly. You’d think there would be a better way to continue a family blood line, wouldn’t you?

Sister and her college sweetheart stopped to take us on a boat ride the other night. Two couples and two very content dogs in a boat on a June evening at dusk, pointing out families of geese. We are almost old now, but not quite. Not yet. That’s what we tell each other.

It is the last week of June. Before we know it, we’ll all be sick of potato salad and grilled hot dogs and mosquito bites. First, though, there will be fireworks and then the Rice Festival and family time. Lately, I’ve found myself longing for the days when our kids and their cousins played for hours together at the lake. I miss the sound of little boy voices down by the beach and the evening “shows” the girls would put on in the lodge.  In a time long ago when they were ours and that was enough. Five happy little hostages filling our days before they acquired pesky adult things like jobs and responsibilities and other people that matter to them.

I hope those big kids of ours know how lucky they were to be worried over and pestered and hollered at and loved to distraction by the four of us. To be loved that same way, even now.

It is bittersweet, isn’t it?  This raising of humans.  Maybe the turtles have it easier. Lay the eggs. Pay no mind to the skunks. Call it good.

Maybe not.

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