The World in a Flower
It’s so easy to dismiss how important something feels to a child. It may seem like the smallest act or expression to an adult. At that very moment it may be the whole world to the child who is trying to connect with the adult. When parenting young children, we are often tired. To take one second, literally, to notice a gesture that is filled with endearment can mean the difference between giving positive feedback to the child that encourages kindness or a rejection that scars for a lifetime.
One Christmas long ago, my sister made a decoupage artwork piece for our Dad. Christmas Day Dad was always in a bad mood. He scoffed at the gift when he opened it, indicating it wasn’t something he could use or wanted, tossing it aside. I wanted to save my younger sister’s crushed heart at that moment but there was nothing in the world that could repair it. That rejection and graphic example created a monster ghost for her to struggle with for many, many years.
When my daughter was preschool age, one day she picked a brilliant wild yellow dandelion in the yard and brought it to me. She had no idea it was considered a ‘weed’ and that it also had healing properties. I can still see her face as she lifted up that dandelion, her eyes meeting mine as I stopped washing dishes and turned around to greet her. It was as if she was giving me her heart in that yellow weed. Nothing else existed. It was a gift from her heart to mine and it was the world. I stooped down to be even-steven with her and gave her a very warm hug, thanking her for the most beautiful flower I’d seen that spring. “I picked it JUST FOR YOU, MOM.” How grateful I am to have that memory to savor and relive. How grateful I am to know I gave her the gift of receiving her heart and the world that day. That was all that existed in that moment in time. And it still exists now as a blessing between a mother and daughter who connected through a bright yellow weed thirty-two years ago.