Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Growing up I was always a little jealous that my birthday didn't fall during the school year. While my classmates got a day of special treatment and recognition, all I got was a day with my family.
    I'm way older now and I cherish any time I get with my family, birthday or no. This year was especially nice. My mother called to tell me that on my birthday, a Saturday, she was taking me somewhere. She wouldn't say where we were going or what we were doing, only that it would be something that I would enjoy.
    On Saturday she picked me up at my house. The only instruction I had received was to dress for comfort, so I had on a golf shirt and shorts. We stopped by a deli to get two box lunches and then took off heading west on the National Road.
    "Where are we going?" I asked.
    "You'll see," was all she answered. She smiled like an 8-year-old with a secret, or like 76-year-old with a secret. It's hard to tell the smiles apart.
    Forty minutes later we pulled into the parking area of one of my favorite places in Ohio. Dawes Arboretum is a wonderful tranquil preserve of trees. We took our box lunches to a shelter to eat. We talked, sharing stories about my childhood, some she had never heard and some that were new to me. When we finished I thought we would drive through the Arboretum to enjoy the many trees. But there was a display at the visitors center mom thought I would enjoy.
    Bonsai crafters from around the state were displaying their proudest specimens. I have always been a fan of the art so I was thrilled at the opportunity to see examples of properly-trimmed miniature trees.
    When it was over I left with some trays, a pamphlet on bonsai for beginners, and inspiration. As soon as I got home I got to work.
    I had a tree that I had stuck in a pot two summers previously. It had survived two winters so I felt, armed with my new knowledge, I might be able to make a go of it.
    My tree, doing well in its new container, is more than just a pet. It's a symbol of a special day with my mother and one of the most cherished summer memories I possess.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.