Last August I spent hours sweating and shoveling on my lunch hour. Hours. Just so the person who bought our old house—which is still on the market one year later—in our former town of Mulletville wouldn't get the beautiful flowers I had planted.
I transported all those bulbs and roots to our new house (which is also my childhood home and so, um, not really new at all) and replanted them. I was so pleased with myself.
All this week I looked around our yard, waiting to see those little leaves poking through the soil, leaves that would give way to pretty blossoms, aka the fruits of my sweaty labor. It wasn't premature. It's spring. Besides, everyone in our fricken neighborhood is a landscaper. I know hostas and other fluffy flowers are blooming. I can see them all from my window.
I mentioned this to my mother last night. The kids were in bed. We were sitting at the table having a glass of wine. I was tired from a long week at work. Chuck was still working. She was tired from babysitting.
She turned on the outside light and told me to come outside. She brought me out back and showed me the dents in the ground. She shook her head.
"A woodchuck ate all your bulbs," she said. "Either that or a chipmunk."
"All of them?"
"All of them. Nothing is going to come up."
There really wasn't anything more to say after that so we just looked at each other.
"Fucking fuck," I finally said. It wasn't just the flowers that got me, but everything: working and struggling, missing Chuck, tripping on laundry, registering children for kindergarten, finding waffles stuck to my ass when I get out of the car, misplacing glasses, burning toast, the cat meowing, wet towels on doorknobs.
"I know," she said.
And she really did.