The boy excitedly yelled up the steps, “C’mon Momma, let’s go!!” Glancing at my clock, the time read 7:15 am. “Bay, seriously? You told “A” we wouldn’t pick her up until 9-9:30 am…give me a few minutes to wake up please…” I yelled back. “Oh yeah” he replied. “Why don’t you make yourself some breakfast…and we’ll go from there…” I offered and he agreed.
Shortly after 9 am we were on our way…the boy sitting shotgun, while the doll and twin took up the back seat. A half a block from home the boy yelled “Wait!!! I left my bird book at home!” which forced us to turn around to retrieve the book. Five minutes later we were on our way. “Doll, you two better be on your best behavior…” I instructed. “We know mom!” The doll retorted as the girls went back to teasing the boy about our trip. “Shut it!” He declared and the backseat erupted in giggles.
Ten minutes later we pulled into “A’s” (his friend) driveway, a bit nervous as her parents walked out to greet us. “Hi I’m Marsha!” I said as we walked up their drive. After exchanging pleasantries we hopped into the car, and down the road we sped; an awkward silence falling upon the car. Looking over at the boy, I mouthed “Talk to her!” He gave me a nervous smile then leaned back and said “So how are you?” “Tired. Why are we out so early?” She replied. I knew right then and there, she- unlike my son, was a typical teenager; one who loved to sleep in on Saturday mornings. She had already won my approval by giving him deodorant for Christmas…now I liked her even more. “This isn’t too early” the boy began “I’m usually awake before 7 am most days. The doll, who sat in between twin and ‘A’ added, “Which goes to show how weird he really is”. “Doll!” I scolded with my tone and she quickly added “Sorry”. The ice; having officially been broken, the drive to the wildlife preserve went rather well as the kids settled into their own conversations… “Which Avenger is your favorite? Do you watch Once Upon A Time-you really need to watch that one boy…” ‘A’ suggested and so on.
As we neared the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, the kids began to notice the license plates of the cars around us: Louisiana, Arizona, California, New York, West Virginia…to name a few. “Mrs. M, why are their so many state licenses here…?” Twin asked me. “Because, every Spring, North American Warblers migrating north, stop here for a few days to rest, before they fly over Lake Erie, onto their Summer homes. People/Birders, from around the world flock (no pun intended) here to catch a glimpse of birds seldom seen together”. I explained as we turned into the Area. We drove in slowly, looking out our windows to spot a Snowy Egret and a Blue Heron; fishing in the Marsh along with a flock of swans as they flew off on our right. Finding a spot to park in the overflow lot (about a half a mile away from the boardwalk entrance) we disembarked from the car, stopping only to gather supplies (backpack filled with water and snacks) and then I made he kids pose for a picture, which was met by loud groans. “Hey this is for identification purposes only…in case I lose any of you..I’ll have a picture of what you were wearing today…” I offered. The kids seemed to buy the idea, stopped groaning and allowed me to take a quick picture. Once the photo was taken I looked back at the kids smiled and said, “Let’s go…”