This story was written about my oldest son, Scotty Edbert, who gave me the roses in the picture for Mother's Day. He was named after the song "Watching Scotty Grow," by Bobby Goldsboro and my father, Edbert Russell, who died when I was four years old on Christmas Day.
I jumped out of bed early every morning with the spirit, energy, and vitality of youth, cleaned house, and took care of the family duties. Far too busy to treasure the day with a son in the first grade, I took pride in the fact that I kept a spotless home and had dinner on the table when my husband returned from work.
I hung Scotty's small jeans outside in the sunshine and fresh air. I can still see them blowing in the wind, hung neatly, all in a row, jeans of every color: brown, black, green, navy, maroon, and blue. I took pride in the fact that he had a pair of jeans in each color for school.
Before I knew it, my son grew, left home, married, had children of his own, and made me a grandmother multiple times. Those precious family days were a treasure that didn't last. All too soon, spring turned to summer, summer to fall, and fall is turning to winter. What I wouldn't give to hang those precious little jeans on the line and watch them blow.
I no longer clean house like it's the most important thing in my life. What I once took pride in is dull, boring, and humdrum--just another ordinary, routine day. Now, there are no small jeans blowing in the wind. No first grader rushes home to excitedly tell me about his school day. Those are all things of the past, things that didn't last.
Now, my little grandson's mother throws his jeans in the dryer as she rushes to get ready for work. The hands of time slip by like a silent thief in the night, as precious days fly with the speed of lightning. Off to work. Off to school. Years fly. Days of the past, treasured days, just don't last.
First printed in USADeepSouth.com as Colored Jeans on the Clothesline: Such Precious Days Don't Last. Permission given to reprint revised edition. B. J. Russell-Robinson lives in Florida with her husband, cocker spaniel, Sunflower, and an adopted shelter cat named Frankie.