So the thing about mail-order plants is that they don't come looking like their pretty pictures. Instead of full bushes I got six root stubs, rhizomes. I didn't even know which end went up. I planted them the best I could. They never grew.
I was faking it when I promised the girls a flower garden. We had a bunch of overgrown vines to rip out, leaving us with a westward-facing garden bed on the side of the garage. "We'll cover it in flowers," I promised, "and it will be gorgeous. We'll do it together." It was an easy promise to make, but I had no idea how I'd fulfill it.
And that's the thing about parenting: I don't have any idea what I'm doing. I'm no gardener and I'm no behavioral expert and this whole life here, the whole thing, it's fake-it-til-you-make-it. But the girls wanted beautiful flowers. We'll figure it out together, I thought.
When a friend offered excess flower bulbs across Facebook last summer, it was beshert, I decided. We'd plant that garden. One way or another...
We supplemented our narcissus bulbs with the purpliest selection our local home improvement store had to offer, and on a mild November day we dug and poked, dug and poked. It began to rain lightly as we finished and the girls took that as a good sign. All winter they asked when the flowers would arrive. "I don't know," I said a hundred times, wondering if they'd bloom at all. What if they were all upside-down? Or sideways? Or dug up and eaten by squirrels?
Ah, but faith always yields rewards:
Look at our tiny flowers, and the two big ones, too. I am so grateful for spring.