What Mother's Day Means for Me, With Flowers!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This post should have been up yesterday but my flowers died and Tyler was stung by a bee. But I should back up a bit. I have a relationship with a new PR company. They offered to send me fresh flowers, my favorite Gerber daisies, to use in a post about Mother's Day. I've been wracking my brain trying to tie flowers and what being a mom means to me together in a way that didn't sound trite or cliched. The events of yesterday afternoon spoke for themselves and kind of wrote the story for me.

I'm not crafty so the thought of arranging the flowers myself, especially into something picture worthy that wouldn't embarrass the sponsor was a little scary. I love having fresh flowers but I generally leave the arranging to the pros. I've never made a topiary out of anything, let alone flowers. But, I try to be open to new experiences. There's always something to learn and the feeling of accomplishment that goes along with mastering a new skill is so, so sweet.

I kept my flowers in a vase with the protective straws on the stems until I was ready to start my post. If you're not familiar with Gerber daisies the flower heads are really heavy. The stems can get limp and droopy long before the bloom is gone and the heads hang like they lost the Little League title by one run and it looks so sad.

So, I kept the plastic straws on the stems to support the heads so that my arrangement would look fresh. But, when I took the straws off to start creating my topiary the stems had mildewed and collapsed but I couldn't see that through the green straw. I was crushed. I thought I was being careful and doing the right thing. But sometimes, decisions we make that seem right at the time don't turn out the way we planned.

I had to take a moment to regroup and come up with a Plan B on the fly. I decided I had to get new flowers so that I could honor my commitment. After I picked him up from school, Tyler and I went to a wholesaler near us and I bought two bunches of beautiful orange Gerbers and white mini Carnations. When we got home I started snipping and bunching, hoping the topiary would turn out at least sphere-like. And it didn't, so I tried again. And again. And again.

It took me more than hour to put the arrangement together. Mostly because I'm anal but also to prove to myself that I could do it. Putting together a flower arrangement isn't on par with cooking a five course gourmet meal for eight but I really, really wanted it to turn out well. Having the topiary on my kitchen table would be a visual reminder that I do manage to get the all encompassing "it" right, at least some of the time.

As I was finishing up and trying to find good light for pictures, Tyler, who was outside playing tether ball, started to cry. Then he started to scream. He ran inside holding his hand and his eyes were huge. "It hurts! It hurts! Ow, ow, owwwww!" I tried to get him to show me where he was hurt but he ran from me, to the bathroom, back to me and to the bathroom again in a complete panic. I've never seen him like that before. "It hurts worser now! Ow, OWWWWW!"

I thought he might have gotten a bad splinter from the wooden base of his tether ball set but he wouldn't let me get a good look.
Phil brought the tweezers and antibiotic into the bathroom, but Tyler had already stuck his hand under the faucet. What I saw could have been a splinter, but judging by the pain he was in, the redness and swelling, it had to be a sting. It was his first, and Phil is allergic to stings so we kept a close eye on him for awhile, just in case.

Seeing Tyler like that, hurt and terrified, scared me a little. He's my heart and soul. Keeping him safe is my job. But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we won't always be able to keep our kids out of harm's way. But, we can do our best to kiss it and make it all better, and hope that it actually will.

For me, being a mom has changed me in so many ways. It's been a journey to say the least. I've had to step out of my comfort zone into unfamiliar territory many times, making decisions as I go and hoping they are the right ones and trying not to beat myself up too badly when it turns out I was wrong.

I've had to learn how to handle the energy of a fearless, curious little boy. I've tapped into patience levels I didn't know I had. I've had to think on my feet and change directions many times. I've had to admit when I didn't know the answers.

I've come to realize I need external validation more than I'd like to admit, especially now that I'm a stay at home mom. I understand now that deep, fierce need to protect that is only words until you have a child of your own. Being a mom is hard at times. But it's so worth it. And when my little flower smiles and tells me I'm the best mommy in the world, I know that all my time, effort and patience are working and I'm getting "it" right.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool arrangement. It is different, has its own unique style. Very nice. I love Gerber daisies and I love fresh cut flowers in my house - if no one gives them to me, I will buy them for myself. Great Job.


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