first flower from my little boy

To say I lack a green thumb is sort of like saying Tiger Woods lacks marital fidelity. Both are significant understatments.

I have offed a multitude of plants in my lifetime. Generally, it's the result of forgetting to water and then over-watering once I remember the poor limp thing again.
My mother-in-law, on the other hand, has a gift for gardening and thriving houseplants. Her living room is positively dripping with flowering Christmas cacti in all sizes and shades. They are simply gorgeous!

So, when she gave me one of her pots that contained three different varieties of Christmas cactus, I was a bit intimidated, yet determined not to kill it.  It's a cactus after all -- sounds like the perfect kind of plant for black-thumbed person like me! 

When she handed the plant over a couple years ago it was full of white, fuschia and red blossoms. It hasn't bloomed since. . . until last week!  One little pink blossom strained its neck to peek about late last week. I was thrilled! 

I proudly showed baby J the flower and encouraged him to be gentle with the blossom so we could watch it grow together. He was so good with it all week.  He would walk up to it, point to it, smile and walk away. And, I resisted persistent urges to water the budding plant again and again.

This morning I was on a weekly call with a client and not paying my usual attention to my little fellow. He walked over with a satisfied look and handed me the plucked petals of my Christmas cactus.

At first I was upset, and must have looked it, because the look of satisfaction turned to confusion on his one-year-old face. He took the flower back to the plant and tried to stick it back on. I realized I was in the midst of a "teachable moment," yet I was also still in the middle of a call. I quickly prioritized and put the call on mute.

I quickly and gently told him that the flower could never be put back on the plant, but that we could still enjoy it for a little while. 

I took the phone off of mute and tried to professionally sum up an action item for the week while, at the same time, I quietly dug around in the recesses of my cabinet to find a shot glass.

I filled the glass with water and placed J's flowerbud inside just as my phone call ended. I squatted down to my baby's level, kissed him on the cheek and thanked him for his gift.

The "teachable moment" was perhaps more for Mama than for Baby. His innocent gift reminded me to relax and smell even the broken flowerbuds that I'm handed.




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