Greetings and greetings from that little old tree in the forest – Saratogian

The voice sounded so mature.


I had just entered the house and passed the room where we receive guests for the night, when a voice followed me.

“I’m sorry, I can’t take your call right now. Please leave a message at the beep, and I will call you back as soon as possible.

Of course, I recognize that voice as it follows me on my quest for a lunch of last night’s leftovers.

My son. Sounding like a radio announcer, all silky smooth, replaced the outgoing message on his phone as he snuggled up to the dog on the sofa bed of the guest bed.

But something sounds.

He also notices.

“Hello! I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now, but please leave a message at the beep and I’ll get back to you shortly.

Still incorrect.

“Hello! I’m sorry to miss your call. Leave a message at the beep and I’ll get back to you.”

I stood there without speaking, a scavenged salad in my hand, and just stared at them both for a while. His grizzled muzzle rested on the crook of his knee as he scratched between his ears. She moaned softly as he repeated the takes.

A lump swelled in my throat from longing before my heart sank.

“Hello … “

I was unprepared for the cheekiness of this new baritone boy erasing the frog-throated message of his predecessor delivered by prank…

“Hello? …

And in the moment of hesitation after the question mark was lifted, I went ahead with my appeasement until…

“Ahhhhhh not here! Leave a message and I’ll call you back!”

It touched me every time.

Except now that little villain was gone. Replaced by a new, more mature boy who was in possession of a piece of blue card stock, which provided access to a limited-scope entry-level job during the summer.

This new boy intuitively knew that the old boy’s sophmoric snark might further limit his opportunities.

Of course, staring too long at your teenage son is a known antidote to his suave aspiration. He begins to squirm under the scrutiny.

His serious attitude dissolves and he crosses his eyes and hopes that I will disappear.

Maturity is not there yet full time.

I look away…only to get another surprise:

A table lamp sits on the floor, and next to it is the cordless phone and a small framed picture. The trio must have come together for company on the descent.

“Hello! What happened here?”

“Oh! There was a commotion between the dog and the cat before. I didn’t really pay much attention. It must have been one of them knocking everything over.

Too bad for the trees that fall in the forests, without being heard.

As I suspected, it doesn’t matter if you heard it fall or not. The tree is still down and hikers will just circle around it until there is a new path to follow.

Siobhan Connally is a writer and photographer living in the Hudson Valley. His family life column appears weekly in print and online.

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