Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Child's First Flower

He's dropped seeds into rows of freshly turned earth.  He's covered newly planted tree saplings and rose bushes with handfuls of loose dirt before pounding with his fists and feet to get out the air pockets.  He's flooded every plant I will allow him to point a water hose at.

My oldest son, Wyatt, has spent all his young life helping a mother, father, and both sets of grandparents plant, water, weed, and harvest.  He knows the process.

And yet, today marks the first time Wyatt has successfully grown something that belongs completely to him.


A month and a half ago when I was teaching the first semester of ESL classes, Thursday evenings turned into special time for my husband and children.  After I handed the children over to their father, he went directly to Chick-Fil-A for the restaurant's Family Night, complete with free crafts, indoor playground, ice cream (!!), and a life-sized cow walking around.

"It's a person inside a cow costume," Wyatt wisely informed Amelia "...Or maybe it's just a cow." 

As most moms can imagine, a night without mom saying "no" to things like cookies, ice cream, sugary lemonade, and suspect behavior in the playground was a huge hit.  Thursdays became the one day of the week I could get the children to do anything I wanted simply by mentioning that eating establishment's Rumpelstiltskin-like name and the words "tonight with daddy."

Help pick up your sister's room? Sure, mommy.
Put up your newly washed socks?  Whatever you say, mommy.
Eat all your lunchtime vegetables? I'd love seconds.

It was a win-win situation until one night, Wyatt came home with a small Styrofoam cup decked out in foam stickers. Inside was black dirt.  He was beyond thrilled.

No, he didn't know what kind of seeds were hidden under the wet potting soil, but he'd chosen them himself--three of them--and it was very important for him to water it every day as well as give it lots of sunshine to help it grow.

A few days later, three seeds had miraculously sprouted in the kitchen window.

He watered.  I watered.  It's wonder the poor seedlings didn't drown.

After a week went by, I transferred the three small plants to an outside pot.  One promptly bit the dust.  Then, a second one bent its head to die.  I figured that was the end of it and was ready to offer my condolences to the grieving parent.

Yet, Wyatt kept watering each day, praying for the seeds to grow, ever being the good mother hen by shooing away his inquisitive twin siblings when they got too close.  Only God could save these ill-fated plants.

As days passed, the first feathery leaves branched skyward; I thought maybe marigolds.  But, the two remaining plants' carrot-like leaves kept rising higher and higher like a magic beanstalk.
Wyatt was successfully growing two coreopsis plants.

Last week, we watched in anticipation as the small blossoms gave increase, swelling with fullness until their time.

That time was today, a single blossom's jagged-edge brilliance opening in full.

"Do you like it," he asked, looking at the half dozen other buds not yet open.

Of course I did.  It was beautiful, even more so because I knew God had grown this boy a flower despite the heat, the over-watering, the constant jostling.

"I picked pink," he suddenly remembered, "because you and Amelia like pink."

This is the same boy who drove her sister crazy this evening by repeatedly calling her "Captain Crunch" (a la Veggie Tales).  She doesn't realize how much he loves her.

But I do.


  1. What a sweet story! I love his perseverance. Good seed will bear good fruit. Enjoyed visiting here today.

  2. Good for Wyatt!

    And what a wonderful lesson in perseverance...not to mention God's miracle of life!

  3. Girl, you are a GREAT storyteller. And the message of this one really resonates with me. I get a thrill out of watching our children "grow" things -- whether they are planted in dirt or in hearts. And coreopsis! Love them. I have yellow ones in my landscaping.

  4. Oh, I love this tale.. and your story telling style. This line is my favorite- "I know that God had grown this boy a flower despite.." So glad He chooses to grow me flowers despite.... So glad to have stopped by today!

  5. Children's excitement over pretty much anything God does is so contagious!

    Alicia--I, too, am glad God grows DESPITE it all.

  6. It's such a treat to see kids [or us older, older folks] see seeds grow and grow and become more than we ever had anticipated. Thank you for sharing.