Healing Frost Damage

October 29, 2010

Tony turned on the heat last night and that familiar smell from the furnace signaled the official start of uncomfortably cold weather. This morning, I realized that the compost bin, in its new site, may very well be on a sprinkler head. I didn’t notice one when I placed the shell there and Dominic didn’t notice one when he reassembled it there, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

SIGH… One more thing to deal with now… how dumb were we!

I’ve been obsessively checking the brussel sprouts lately, comparing them with images online. They are not ready to harvest. How long do these blasted things take, for heaven’s sake?!? I check them again and sure enough, still too small to do anything with. Is this like the watched pot? Maybe I should take a week’s break and then come back? These plants fall all over the garden; they do not stand upright like the photographs. What did I do wrong? Next year, with the lack of zucchini and watermelon, we may see a significant difference in stem strength and growing time; this year, I’m playing the hand I was dealt.

I pass by the brussel sprouts and stop dead. The green peppers are completely wilted, black and drooping. The basil is frostbitten, the beans shot and the tomatoes a disaster. Only the peas, the sprouts and the spinach are happy and healthy. The garden has suffered from that cold weather. I take a closer look and give up all hope for any beans this fall. So many tomatoes will never turn red. I can see all the green peppers so easily.

Just yesterday, Dominic mentioned that UIC had not responded to his application. I asked about a back up plan and he just smiled and lifted his eyebrows. I shook my head – this boy loves putting every single one of his eggs in a solitary, capricious basket. Today, I hand him a big envelope from Loyola University – a school he has also mentioned several times – and say, “They might be interested in you – why don’t you apply here too?” Tony chimes in, “Yeah, bro. See what’s inside.” He looks at the envelope, smiles and says, “Well, I did apply here too.” Really.

The envelope is opened, and all hell breaks loose. He screams, he jumps, he grabs me and hugs me right off the ground. “I GOT IN!” he shouts, he repeats over and over again. He dances around, calls Richie, calls my parents, calls almost everyone he can think of in a 5 minute period. He is so happy. Smiles, smiles, smiles. Shouts, laughter, joy!

In less than 3 months, this boy will be all “caught up”. He will be at a university, surrounded by peers, challenging himself intellectually and emotionally. He will be setting his feet in the path he has wanted to take since he was 5 years old. He will no longer be on a side track, a weigh station. He will be in it – right where he should be.

I am terrifically happy and terribly scared. I trust and have faith that the damage done by the frost that settled on his life 6 years ago is healed, that the slow and steady growth he’s achieved continues, that the blight is over and done with. He is so full of promise, so full of dreams, so full of potential – and now so full of joy.

Throughout the evening, he smiles at me and asks, “Hey, Mom. Did you know I got into Loyola?”

And every time I smile back and say, “Yes, dear. I do.”


One Response to “Healing Frost Damage”

  1. Connie said

    CONGRATULATIONS DOMINIC ON GETTING INTO LOYOLA!! What wonderful news – how excited and proud you must be!
    All the best!
    Love you,
    Aunt Connie

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