Last fall I decided to buy and plant bulbs: daffodils, tulips, and crocuses. (See December 16, 2011 post.) Stephen and Aurora helped with the planting. First, we talked about the proper way to plant the bulbs: Each bulb needs to be planted two to three times as deep as the bulb is tall, and it needs point up. After the planting lesson, I dug the holes and Stephen and Aurora placed the bulb in the holes and filled them with soil. It was fun to move around the yard as a team with a mission. When the bulb bags were empty and each bulb was tucked into its new home in the soil, we felt a great sense of accomplishment.
In March, daffodils were making appearances in yards and fields all around town. We started watching our yard. Nothing, no signs of budding life. As I watched I talked: “Maybe I didn’t plant the bulbs deep enough,” “Maybe I planted them too late in the season,” “Maybe the squirrels ate them.” Then Stephen added, “Maybe I plants them upside-down.”
We waited just a little bit longer. One day we saw dark green plants emerging from the grass in the front lawn. Yes, the daffodils were coming. We were so happy, our sense of accomplishment welling up for the second time.
I smile every time I look out at the daffodils spread through out the front lawn. It feels as though I have joined a secret society of gardeners.
Stephen seems to have developed some feelings about these daffodils, as well. The pride and ownership he feels is demonstrated in his words and actions. “Mom, would you like me to cut some of our special daffodils to decorate the table?” he says as he walks outside with a pair of scissors. I often find him out in the yard looking at the daffodils. They are his daffodils—he learned the correct way to plant bulbs, planted them, waited and watched for them, cheered them on when they started to grow, and loved and appreciated them when they bloomed. Sounds like parenthood to me.