Is there anything sweeter than a bouquet picked by your child? Very likely not.
My son picked me a small bouquet this morning in the meadow behind his grandparent's home. Yes, there is a meadow adjacent to their backyard. Life is good when you live near a meadow. You get to see the seasons in their full glory. Nature is not something you need to drive to to see or experience. It is lovely.
This morning my husband and boys were outside kicking a soccer ball around, sitting by the the little stream that is just waking up after the long winter, enjoying the fresh air. I could hear them through the window, giggling away.
A while later my older boy found me inside and told me to close my eyes, "I have a gift for you!" I did as I was told, only opening them when assured it was time. The loveliest little bouquet greeted me. Anchored by a bright gold dandelion surrounded by three smaller purple flowers. It was perfect in every way.
We hugged and kissed and I thanked him again and again. Then I rested the little bouquet on the dresser. Water wasn't necessary, as this bouquet would start wilting within minutes. That's the nature of bouquets, isn't it. They die and die fast. I grew up with a Dad who was not fond of gifting flowers. He saw no point in wasting his hard earned money on something that would die so quickly. I don't honestly know if that bothered my Mom or not. It always made me sad. I love flowers, including bouquets.
The joy of my boy gifting me this smallest of bouquets is so much larger than the tiny blooms and will last much longer than the flowers themselves.
Sure enough, just a bit after snapping a photo of this transitory blessing, the flowers had started to wilt. They are curling in on themselves now, already fading. Their quick burst of perfection is a metaphor for childhood itself, isn't it? It comes, blooms brighter than one can imagine, and then, if you look away for just a moment too long, *poof*, it is gone, fading.
But, like that little wilting bouquet, this is not sad to me. It is exactly as it is supposed to be. Life unfolding as it should. A beautiful, wondrous burst. Nothing wasted, nothing other than exactly what it should be.