Sunday, May 10, 2009

Flowers and a Song

"Our yard is so ugly," he muttered. "Why don't we have a pool like the neighbors?" He peered longingly through the fence.

"That costs money, sweetie," I sighed. "Now is not a good time for that. But if you help me, we can make the yard look nicer."

"Look at their flowers, Mom!" he said. To a tween, not only is the grass greener on the other side, but the flowers are sweeter, too.

We had been cruising along in that blissful time between toddlers and teenagers, when kids are lower maintenance, doing many things for themselves and not yet suspecting that their parents are clueless. I sensed, with this backyard rebellion, that those days might soon end.

"Come on," I replied. "Let's go get some flowers."

Our shopping cart overflowed with purple - different types of flowers, but all purple. We worked hard all Saturday digging and planting, until we had everything in the ground. A corner of the yard was now transformed into a lush, lavender landscape. He was right - the yard, or at least a small part of it, brightened a bit.

Mothers' Day morning, we ate pancakes outside, admiring our new garden. Suddenly Bobby jumped up.

"I have something for you," he said. He ran to the garage.

After years of receiving handmade cards written in crayon, the tradition had, for me, never grown old. I kept every letter, every note, watching how each year they matured a bit more. They'd be grown up and gone soon enough, so in the meantime I savored every moment we had together.

Instead of a card, Bobby returned with flowers. Beautiful, purple blooms cascading out of their container. I was speechless. At some point he had convinced his dad to drive him to the store and get them.

"I used my own money, Mom," he beamed. "Oh, and here's a card I made."

The lilting sound of a tenor filled the air. His older brother, Tommy, was in the school choir. For his present, I was treated to an a capella solo, a country song he had learned for a recent concert. His voice was clear, steady, and sweet.

As we listened to his song, I held my flowers and glowed. I'm not known for being mushy, but we had been through so much together lately, to see them celebrating our little family was pure joy. As my dad would say, I had "done good."

Happy Mothers' Day.

1 comment:

jditzel said...

Nice essay. I liked it.