Monday, August 22, 2011

Mommy, What Kind of Flower is That?

What kind of flower is that, Mommy?" I whispered as Mom and I knelt in the grass. I was four years old and we were out on one of our nature walks.
That's a Dandelion," she told me.
"Oh!" I gasped, in awe. I was easily impressed at that age. "I thought Dandelions were yellow. This is all white and fuzzy."
"That's because it has gone to seed. if you blow on it, the little white seeds will blow away."
I had done this before and it was one of my favorite things to do, but I hadn't realized that the white feathery things were Dandelions or seeds. I blew on the head of the flower and watched as the white seeds danced away on the breeze.
"In a little while," Mom explained, "those seeds will land somewhere else and grow into brand new Dandelions."
After a few minutes I asked her, "Mommy, why do you pull Dandelions out of your garden if they're flowers?"
"Because they're weeds," she replied.
"But how can a flower be a weed?"
Mom smiled. "Anything that grows somewhere you don't want it to is a weed. Technically a rose can be a weed if it grows in the wrong place."
"Does anybody have a Dandelion garden?"
"I don't think so," she said.
I didn't think this was fair. I decided that one day I would grow up and have my very own Dandelion garden...
Many parents miss the opportunity to spend time with their children in nature, teaching them about things as simple as weeds in the back yard. What a lot of people don't realize is that this stuff, while simple and frivolous to many adults, can be exciting and fun for kids. Family fun, lasting memories can be made without money, great effort, or skill. All it takes is time, patience, and the willingness to listen and answer questions like, "Mommy, what kind of flower is that?"

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