Baseballs and dandelions. Its that time again. Grubby hands full of weeds looking intently in to your eyes as they thrust the fist into your hands. “For you, Mama!” My son Elijah is a one man weeding crew, ridding our lawn of the dreaded dandelion as if sifting for gold. He was sitting at the front curb picking today and I said, “E, get out of the street!” He protested, “But they’s flowers on there, mama!” But they’s flowers… He continued his mission until my curb was sufficiently weeded.
I have several cups of fading weeds about my kitchen. This past weekend we snuck away for a weekend of camping, and I almost stepped on him when I opened the door and looked down the steps. There was Eli, legs and sneakers showing, hidden under the camper. “What are you doing, did you fall?” I should have known, up he came with a grin and a dandelion. Not one will escape him.
Noah, my seven year old has begun his little league season, without a handle on the hitting as opposed to years past. He’s gotten hit with a ball at the batting cage and is now a bit wary of the ball. He stands bravely watching the ball go by, swings occasionally, but much prefers center field this year, where he can see the ball coming and brace himself first. We spend a lot of time at the baseball field, me and the little guys. There is so much dirt. Dirt everywhere. It is a good thing I’m not one of those moms. I let them dig while Noah slides around the bases. What fun is spring without the dirt?
My spring is intertwined with white leather balls sewn up with red string, dirt and fists of dandelions. Even my daughter Ruby, 5, gets into the swing of things, knees and bottom caked with dirt, freckles spreading across her nose. She generally follows along behind Elijah, mothering him as only a 5 year old can. Hand against his back in a fierce guiding action one minute, then all at once, tackling him for a Spiderman toy the next. There are cheers for Noah each time he comes up to bat, bleachers to conquer, worms to unearth, sunshine to soak in, and of course, a concession stand complete with red fish. Does it get any better than that?
Whatever you do, dear Mama, do not let a gift as precious as that little yellow weed go unpraised from the tiny, little, dirty hands that chose it for you. There are no pennies that bring these flowers, just the sun and rain and weeds that grown men rail against. Grown men who probably brought their Mamas flowers once long ago. Now, their mission is to rid their world of them.
Appreciate the little ones before they grow too old to remember their quest to bless their Mama with every flower they could get their hands on. Enjoy your spring with your precious babies, Mamas. I pray you all have overflowing dixie cups of dandelions this spring!