They come in with fistfuls, crushed, warm and wilted in their palms. Dirt under their fingernails, smudged on their cheeks, they each come forth and bring me the soft, yellow riches of their dandelion harvest, the first for this year with it’s late birthing spring.
The broken mess of petals and dandelion heads have been carefully distributed among the cups and mason jars that Asher could find in my dishwasher.
He, they, save them, because they are beauty and spring and magic all at once. They are sagging stems and mushed petals that somehow, in a way that they can’t fully understand, have the power to make their mother smile.
They don’t realize that the smile is in the gifting, not the gift. It’s in their soft, open hearts, not what they carry in their palms. It’s, simply, them.
I don’t even particularly like dandelions, not yet anyway. Here in my house, I see them as tiny ant condominiums and I classify them quickly as things-to-be-thrown-away-after-the-kids-are-sleeping.
I like them later, when the ones that managed to not be plucked by my children, that have survived to maturity in my lawn, when they have closed and then reopened, lighter, softer, ready to be taken with the wind, or blown apart by a child’s lips.
I like when change is imminent. And not when it’s a lingering, sometimes wilting, thought that I carry around with me, impatient and grumpy. I’d rather be open and waiting and ready for the wind, than plucked and dying on a kitchen counter, waiting for the drain.
Outside my windows, I keep watching for spring. I keep waiting for the morning when I’ll wake up and be okay with putting away the space heaters until the fall.
I am waiting for the sun to come out, stronger and longer and warmer. I’m waiting for the few buds that I’ve seen, to turn from red to green and to start painting the landscape verdant and alive again.
I know, it’s coming.
I have a For Sale sign on my front lawn. I have a few boxes packed. I have a wedding season starting into full swing. I have children eager to wrap up their school year. I have life to keep up with. But, I have a brain that’s just wanting to close and reopen, softer, lighter, ready to be pushed forward to whatever is coming next.
Because, something is coming.
I know it.
Asher comes to bring me his final pluckings of the day. He dumps them from his palms into mine, and then he hugs me, long and tight. I close the dandelions in my fist and hug him back, just as fierce. And as we pull apart, I notice how he has grown so much in the past year, how his face has thinned some, and that I am looking at the end of this era of his childhood. He’s five now, official big kid status.
He asks for a snack, and I hand him back the small pile of dandelion heads. Sure, and can you put these with the rest while you’re in the kitchen?
Evaline rushes in and bumps into him as he passes through the door. I use potty!
Et tu, Evaline?
Change is coming?
No, change is here.
Change is your son losing his baby face cheeks.
Change is your last baby, transitioning to potty trained kid.
Change is your first born cooking pancakes and eggs for breakfast every morning this week, and not asking for help.
Change is your daughter choosing hours of quiet reading in her bed, over screen time.
Change is parenthood, it’s life with a houseful of growing, interesting, lives.
Change is a marriage, that deepens as the days grow more hectic, as you feel less in control of anything, it holds you fast.
And someday, I know, change will be mason jars left empty, a counter left uncluttered, and a yard full of dandelion heads, waiting for the wind.