Saturday, May 1, 2010

Three Flower Afternoon

"I picked a yellow flower for your hair, Mama!" says Luke...

And for most days, I do get one lovely yellow flower - a dandelion picked by small hands, dirty and full of love.  He does love to see me wear a flower in my hair, and with the abundance of the 'yellow flowers' I usually go the whole spring, summer and into fall with a yellow adornment behind my ear.  

A yellow flower has been a special thing between the two of us since he could talk and pick flowers.  There is an inner hippie gene in him that thinks a girl with flowers in her hair is just so beautiful. There is enough of a girl in me that I want to be a beauty with flowers in her hair.

But today the flowers are more than adornment, they are a peace offering.  Our first real one - because we had a bigger than usual frustration with each other today.  

He was tired, he was probably hungry and it was afternoon.  Not a recipe for a great "Just Me & My Mom" trip to town, but we did really well.  Good listeners, laughing, playing, enjoying each others company.  

Then it took a bit longer in the 'Thomas store', and a while more to listen at the pet store (buying some gold fish cause "Goldie is lonely") and then the melt down at a mall helicopter ride.  We had new fish, a new kazoo and a need to get nails for Daddy.

"Next time buddy okay?" 

"Nope Mama, I have a better plan, you don't have to make it go, I'll just sit a while and pretend."

"Please pal, we have one more stop before we go home and let Goldie meet her new fish friends."

Not smooth, but not catastrophic, bit of a kazoo misunderstanding (is there any other kind?) - got him loaded in the cart and out the door.  Across the street to the store of nails, lumber, tools and all kinds of wonders for building, making and 'stuff'.

We have to go in together, it's a rule.  Right there we butted heads  again.  I was feeling so badly!  

The thoughts running through my mind - Bad mama, bad day? Good mama, Bad day? What the heck is going on?

Deep sigh...deep breaths...

"Mama did not throw out your kazoo, it's right here (shows him), and we'll play it when we are done in the store, okay?"

Tears, wracking sobs and then silence, hoodie pulled up, sunglasses on resting in the wire basket of the cart.  I teasingly tell him I'll shush him like the dogs, do the closing mouth sign and we smile.  Him through his tears tracked through dirt, me through my flushed face.

Neither of us likes to be frustrated with each other.  We would rather be walking in love and laughing together.  We get the nails, a couple of ant traps, wasp and fly traps (generally bugs are okay except those who bite, sting and cause havoc...) and work our way to the door.


"Yes pal?"

"It's important to be a good listener isn't it?"

"Yes Luke, it is, very important for us to be good listeners."

"I'm sorry for frustrating and not being a good listener, Mama."

I hug him tight as I lift him up to his booster seat in the truck, "I'm sorry too pal, love you all the time."

We get home, he's asleep in the truck.  I let him sleep, and start to unload the truck.  We do some things and the flowers start to come, first one, then a pair and then two more.  One is put aside for the birds and the other three are put in my hair.  

Windblown, tangled and so dirty little hands, stained green and yellow...a smiling but still sad face..."Are we okay Mama?  I brought yellow flowers for your hair..."

Later his Daddy asks him if he said sorry for the frustration and hurtful words we exchanged...and his answer was, "Yes Daddy, I gave Mama lots of yellow flowers for her hair."

We also got to talk about how God forgives us, how we leave the past things behind and start the next day, the next moment fresh.  How we love each other no matter what, how we misunderstood and frustrated each other.  He cannot fall asleep and waits for our silence, then pat pats into our room.  The comfort of our bed, where the love lives.  

I put the three flowers in a shot glass of water, and I cherish each of their moments in my hair, in my kitchen, in my heart.  We love each other, our little family, and even when we frustrate each other and ourselves we end each day as we start it walking in love.

So if you see me sometime with a dandelion tucked behind my ear, know that it is no ordinary weed's bloom but a precious gift from my little best pal who thinks his Mama is beautiful with flowers in her hair, and the more flowers he picks the more he says his love is bigger than words.

Yes! Today was International Scrapbooking Day, and yes I have a ton of photos to scrapbook...but this afternoon I spent sometime making the memories in the late afternoon sun, watching the clouds and a little boy playing in his sand pile.  Today's memories and photos, tomorrow's layout and a remembrance of this moment for years to come.  Would love to see some of your layouts!  Share some links...will post mine as soon as they are done.

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