Monday, May 5, 2014

My favorite flower is...a weed?

I will never forget years ago, I was sitting in a MOPS(mothers of preschoolers) meeting and we all had to answer the question, “what is your favorite flower?”, One of the girls replied, the dandelion.  As you can imagine, we all tilted our head in question.  She went on to explain that it was her favorite because it was her dads favorite flower.   Again, we were still confused.  She explained that he made a decision not to fight the so called dandelion epidemic, but to embrace it, even cherish it.  That left a lasting impression on me.  I found myself thinking, “Who decided it was a weed?   It was a bright yellow flower, and then turned into the fun white cotton ball that brings so much joy to kids as they blow the seeds into the wind.  Yes, they are quite ugly after that, but even the prettiest of flowers shrivel and die.

I remember as a kid absolutely loving these “flowers”.  I used to rub the yellow on my cheeks pretending to be applying blush, or down my arms as a creative design.  And then when they would turn white, I loved to find patches of them and blow 5 flowers at a time, raining cotton everywhere, until that fateful day when my dad asked me to stop blowing the seeds all over the yard.  This was the day I learned they were actually a weed. As a teen I would mow over them and feel so accomplished. I had RID my yard of the yellow weed,  leaving a smooth green surface.  I too, had finally grown up enough to consider this flower for the epidemic it was said to be.  And then one day my first baby was old enough to walk and play in our back yard and the most magical thing happened.  He brought his first present to me…a “flower”.  All of a sudden my heart knew this yellow fuzzy expression couldn’t possibly be a weed.  It carried so much love, affection and generosity.  Isn’t that what flowers are for?  In the years to come, that mother’s words of her favorite flower echoed in my ears, and I grew to love this flower myself.  
One day I was looking out my window at our green yard decorated in cheerful yellow dots, and then out the door my youngest went running to collect his gift to me.  He came in beaming ear to ear just as I remember my older three kids doing every summer.  And now, my last baby was taking his turn as my knight in shining armor.  I sat at the kitchen table as he came bursting through the door with a pile of love.  This was his biggest bouquet yet.  As I raved over them, he beamed with pride, informing me he would go collect more since I loved them so much.  As the scent traveled from my hands to my nose, my mind traveled back in time.  I was flooded with the sound of giggles, the emotion of joy, and the feeling that my heart was bouncing, and I realized this very flower had a pleasant emotional impact on me as a child.  And soon after, my heart flooded with such overwhelming love as I recollected each one of my kids looking up at me with such devotion and admiration, as they handed me their pile of flowers.   As I sat there at the table watching Bo and my nephew work to pick every last “weed” for their moms, I realized, my favorite flower is the dandelion.


  1. This made me smile and choke up a little...and feel a little regret for not being quite as excited as I should have been when Grace brought me a handful of withered flowers from the yard this morning. It makes me think of the most hilarious thing on flowers/grass/weeds that I've ever heard...How God Looks at Grass...