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Dandelion Bouquet

By KATHY MIELE | Apr 24, 2019

Alex had woken up late and came walking into the living room, sleepy-eyed but with a smile on his face. “Good morning,” he said, rubbing his eyes.

“Morning.” I smiled, then looked at the clock. It was almost noon. “You feel like going to the bagel store with me and splitting a bacon, egg and cheese? My treat!” I’d held off eating my breakfast hoping he’d say yes.

Alex stopped rubbing his eyes. “A bagel?” His smile got bigger. “That sounds great!”

Moments later we were in the car headed to one of my favorite weekend treats, a bagel shop only a block away from the beach. I’d run in and grab a sandwich, then we’d park by the beach to eat and watch the waves crashing on the sand. I always looked forward to these quick moments with him, just visiting, and finding out what was happening in his world.

As we drove through the neighborhood I couldn’t help but notice how many of the lawns were already dotted with dandelions.

“Remember when you’d come into the house with a bouquet of dandelions for me?”

Alex just laughed. “No.”

“Oh, come on! You have to remember!” I looked over at him. “It was so cute!”

Alex just shook his head. “What was I, about 2?”

I thought about it for a moment. “Probably.” I finally said, “But it would make my day, seeing that chubby little fist holding a dozen dandelions. I even had a tiny vase I’d put them in.” I looked over at him. “I still have that vase.”

Alex laughed some more. “I’m not picking you a bunch of dandelions.”

“Oh, come on! It would make my day.”

“It would not,” he countered. “The time where it would be cute for me to hand you lawn weeds has passed.”

I knew he was right. It wouldn’t be the same as when he was little. So we drove on, chit-chatting about our week. I knew it was ridiculous, but each time I drove by someone’s front lawn dotted with those yellow flowers a tiny part of me was sad that those moments were gone for us.

When we arrived at the bagel shop I parked the car and reached in the back seat to grab my wallet out of my purse. When I turned around, Alex was holding a $20 bill out to me. “It’s my treat today,” he said.

“Aw, really?” I took the twenty out of his hand. “Thank you.” I guess he could see I was getting a little choked up.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Nothing’s wrong.” I smiled at him. “It’s just that I’ve always felt that it should be my treat, kind of a bribe to get you to come hang out with me.”

“You don’t have to bribe me to hang out with you. I like our beach lunches.” He started to laugh. “Now isn’t this better than a bunch of dandelions?”

I looked down at the twenty and smiled. “I have to admit, being treated to lunch is better.” I opened the car door and climbed out, but before I closed the door I turned around and peeked back inside. “But when we get home I’m getting that little vase out and putting some dandelions in it, just for old time’s sake.”

Alex just shook his head and smiled. “Please, just don’t tell anyone I picked them for you!” he called as I closed the car door and we went to get our lunch.

Kathy Miele lives in Eatontown, N.J.

 

 

 

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