One of the greatest difficulties of being a teen mom are some of the missed opportunities because you are trying to grow up and raise a child at the same time, it’s often difficult to stop and smell the flowers. But there are moments that you know matter, not only to you but to your child.
I had my first child at 18, my second child at 21 and my third child at 35. When my older children were younger, they loved picking the dandelions. They would bring them into the kitchen and I would stick them in a glass until they wilted, which was usually very quick. I always made a big deal about their humble gift to me, it mattered to them so it mattered to me.
A few days ago, my third child aka the bonus child noticed the dandelions as we were walking to the car.
He stopped mid-step and asked, “can I step on the flowers?”
“Yes, you can step on the flowers,” I replied.
He gingerly stepped on the dandelions, watching them crush under his captain america light up shoes. He giggled.
The next day, as we passed the same patch of dandelions, he stopped and stared.
Bending down to study the weeds he asked, “can I pick them for you?”
The memories of the bouquet of weeds I received 17 and 14 years ago flashed in my mind. My heart remembered of all those moments that mattered to my older children and how important it is to pay attention even to the weeds.
I pause more and try to see the world through the eyes of my bonus child. I know one day, he will bring in his bouquet of weeds and I will receive them as if they were prize roses, just as I did when his sister and brother brought them. The gesture of a child is so pure, if only we stop to step on the flowers.