The pyramids will not last a moment compared with the daisy.
“Hi, Mom,” Kennedie says brightly as she walks up to my car after school. “Here’s your flower. I think it might be the last one this year.” The cool autumn breeze blows into the car as she opens the door, and I know she’s probably right.
“Thank you, sweetie,” I say as I tuck the already wilting dandelion behind my ear. Seeing me wear the flower brings her a smile as she launches into the detailed description of her day. Later, someone will point out that I have a wilted weed in my hair. I will smile and say, “Oh, that’s just Kennedie’s dandelion.”
Kennedie picks a dandelion for me every day. I don’t know when she started it or what made her think that I would like her to bring me a weed, but from the time they appear in the spring until their last fluffy seeds float away in the fall, she has brought me one every day for years.
I used to set them on the console of my car, and in less than an hour they would become withered stems spreading pollen that was difficult to clean up. Then one day, I decided to tuck the dandelion behind my ear, more fully accepting and displaying the gift. It still wilted in an hour and the pollen littered my hair instead of my car, but wearing it changed it from a messy weed into a bright, cheery flower.
To Kennedie, dandelions are not weeds; they are treasures. And she doesn’t seem to notice or care that their beauty is short-lived. To Kennedie, my meager attempts at motherhood are not weeds either. She thinks I’m remarkable. Whenever I cook, or craft, or even type, she says, “You’re just amazing with food (or words, or paint, or whatever I happen to be working with).” Soon enough, though, she will become a teenager, and she might see my gifts to her as withered weeds spreading messy pollen in her life.
The daily dandelion reminds me that my time with my children is fleeting. Just as each flower wilts quickly, their childhood will fade. One day, Kennedie will not want to bring me a dandelion or tell me every detail of her day. I can choose to relish this brief season — wear it behind my ear — or I can toss it on the console and watch it become a worthless mess.
For now, I look great in yellow.
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