Wednesday, August 3

The Offering of Flowers

I picked flowers for Ava this week.

Why? Because I saw them and I thought about her. I thought about how she loves to pick flowers from the grass, from fields, on walks, anywhere we see them and no matter how much they are actually like weeds (like dandelions) or not (like daisies).

I thought about how she picks them because she thinks they are beautiful (even though our more mature adult minds eventually convince us to believe that there is not much beauty in weeds) and there is an impulse in her, an impulse that comes from her heart, the place that she loves that says, "I want to pick these for my mom because I love her and I think she will like them."

Maybe it is one of her love languages. Gifts. The giving of flowers. I wanted to love her back using her love language. So I picked these flowers while I was out on a walk with the intention of giving them to her when I got home.

It was a walk I had taken to clear my head. It was a walk I had taken in part because I was frustrated with her. With her whining, with her neediness, with her 4-year oldness. It was a walk that I had taken because my mind was literally numb by dinner time when Scott was finished with work and offered to, prodded me to, go out for a bit on my own.

By the time he was able to take over I had no energy to walk, or talk or deal with one more mess or dirty dish. I had wanted to go for a run (or so I had thought earlier in the day), I had wanted to be productive that evening (or so I had also thought earlier in the day), but all I could do was be numb and tired.

I asked Scott if he wanted to go for a walk with me and we put the kids in the double stroller (even though Ava is almost too big for it) for a couple of blocks.

Unfortunately, the whining came along for the walk as well. I want to walk. I want to go home. I don't want to sit in this stroller anymore. 

And so eventually Scott said, honey, you keep walking I'm taking the kids home.

And so I went. And walked fast and hard. Away from it all.

And then I saw the flowers. The weeds. The beautiful, white, lacy weeds and I thought about Ava and how much I love her in the midst of it all. So I picked the flowers, a small bouquet to take home to her.

As a token of my love for her. Perhaps as a peace offering between us.

She was asleep by the time I got home, so I put them in this little vase, a vase that an art teacher I used to work with gave me as a gift once. I treasure it because I treasured her opinion about things. She once told me, when Ava was only a couple of months old, that even though she had to sacrifice many of her artistic desires and passions in raising her own children that come to find out they, her children, were her most beautiful works of art.

I placed them just so on Ava's dresser while she was sleeping so she'd see them in the morning.

When she woke up the next morning and came down to snuggle with me on the couch I said good morning and then, "I picked some flowers for you last night. I put them on your dresser."

Her face lit up. "I saw them," she said brightly.

That's all she said. It's all she needed to say. I knew in her little 4-year old world that they meant the world to her, and that meant the world to me.


  1. Wow... I lost track of how many times this one gave me goosebumps. Beautifully written. It gives new meaning to "stop and smell the weeds". Simple, tender, innocent is the language of children. How wonderful that you can use your gift to capture it all perfectly!

  2. That is SO sweet...I'm sure she'll remember that so fondly! I may steal that idea for my little girls. :)


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