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Robin Writes: My favorite bouquet

Posted on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 8:59 pm

By Robin Garrison Leach

I watched my daughter from various windows in the house, trailing her progress as she tried to pick every dandelion that dotted the grass.  Her body bent in half over each selection, pudgy legs locked into place, and her curly hair bounced against her cheeks on the way down.

She didn’t just pull the heads off the dandelions.  It was important to her to get a bit of the stem.  Tiny pink fingernails, green with weed juice, made themselves into gentle pincers and pulled the flowers from the soil.

Her bare little piggies padded ant trails through the lawn; she was careful not to squish any dandelions or upset the bees that buzzed about.

Where she walked, the grass held her footprints for just a second or two.  Then it bounced back to full height to erase her tracks.

The old Easter basket she carried swayed wildly against her crooked elbow.  Heaps of yellow circles inside jostled about as if being tickled.  Once in a while, a dandelion fell out, but Andrea didn’t notice.  There were so many more left.

If I leaned toward the window, I could hear her singing a tune that only children know—full of reedy notes and lisp-y whispers.  Its phrasing worked in time with her steps and propelled her in plodding diligence.

At a time determined by sweaty ringlets and a tiny attention span, Andrea deemed her bouquet complete.  She studied the mound of flowers inside her basket and then looked at the yard around her.

Dandelions still decorated the grass.  And those she left behind seemed somehow less yellow.  Less special…like weeds again.

I saw her trotting toward the screen door; I leaned over the kitchen sink and acted busy.

“Mooommmm!” Her voice roses and fell like a whippoorwill’s call.  The door slammed against its jamb and fanned errant tendrils of her sunbaked hair as she stopped just inside. “I have a surPRISE for you!”

I twisted myself toward the voice, feigning motherly innocence that accompanies any gift from a child not yet old enough to keep a secret.  She watched my eyes grow as wide as yoyos. I clasped my hands against my chest and smiled, big and sunny.

There she was; all four years of invested time and care, holding a grass-stained basket full of loving returns. “For you, Mom,” she pronounced. Andrea plopped the basket onto the kitchen table and reached for me. Her hug smelled like rain-freshened dirt and baby shampoo.

I closed my eyes against the pureness of the moment and wished for an eternity spent just like this.

After she ran off to play, I grabbed a fistful of my flowers and stuck their already wilting stems into a glass of water.  They’d die in an hour or so, and I’d have to toss them away. But until then, my kitchen was decorated with the most beautiful bouquet on earth.

This Mother’s Day, I will receive my share of cards and gifts from my now grown children.  But in my heart, I wish for just one more basket of dandelions; one more chance to watch love being gathered by little fingers.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Contact Robin at robinwrites@yahoo.com