Springtime brings so many memories of Austin, from our last year with him to the very beginning.
I think of baseball and the array of equipment that would meet me at the front door, in the back of my truck and across his bed. Looking back, I'm not quite sure how I fit his schedule into mine but we did it. It seemed I was always hauling a baseball bag, or RCs for a fundraiser, or making a second trip to Owensboro for new cleats and another glove.
I miss watching him practice and play and how he improved each season. I miss rooting for my sweet boy as he caught a fielder or hit a home run. I even miss fussing at him for the tenth time to pick up his bat, or ball, or glove that I stepped over coming into the house each afternoon.
As the vibrant grass peeks out of the ground with every sunbeam, I am reminded of Austin and his side job of mowing. I don't know that I'll ever hear the hum of a lawnmower again or smell the scent of freshly cut grass without thinking of him. He was so proud to have his regular customers and steady source of spending money.
When I think back to the early years and Springtime, I am reminded of my cute little man all dressed up for Easter. His dark eyes and satin black hair always looked so good next to the pastel colors of the holiday. I would often dress him in soft baby blue and yellow suits or short outfits, which would all end up with candy or dirt on them by the end of the weekend.
I can still picture him as a baby, sitting waist high in the tall stalks of bright green grass, finding a hidden egg and attempting to put it in his mouth. It was a real egg, hard boiled, but he didn't understand at that early age why there was a shell still attached!
Austin was never a fan of the majority of Easter candy so the bunny always brought him a movie. Toward the teenage years, he began to prefer white chocolate or regular, just like I did at his age.
Even up to his last Easter with us, he enjoyed coloring eggs. I would normally take the Friday before Easter off from work and by the time the boys got home, eggs would be cool and ready for decorating. We had some good times around the butcher block in the kitchen, dipping and dunking to create different designs.
What reminds me most of Austin this time of year though are the sunny faces of daffodils. Austin loved picking those flowers for me every year and I can't see them popping up in the fields without thinking about him. My mom has been a sweetheart, making sure I have had fresh ones for the house the past two weekends. Each time I pass by them, I smile, remembering his sweet face bringing them to me. From tiny hands, holding mostly the bud because he didn't quite know how to pick - to beautiful bouqets, at an age when I was sure he'd grown out wanting to.