Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Tulips

I always thought tulips were pretty flowers, but they were never my favorites. I preferred roses, lilies, carnations...even marigolds and pansies. Tulips, while beautiful, never even made my short list of flowers I absolutely adored. But one day that changed, all thanks to my then four-year-old son.

Photo by Vera Kratochvil
Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures
My son first spotted tulips about a year ago at the grocery store, and he begged to "buy" me some. I didn't need them or particularly want them, but there was something about the look on his face that just melted my heart, so I gave in to his request. He jumped up and down with his excitement, and I watched as he examined all the bunches carefully, trying to decide which one was his favorite. Finally he handed me a bunch of orange tulips, a big grin spread across his tiny face. "These are for you, Mommy." My heart melted again.

Since that moment, tulips have moved up high on the list of my favorite flowers. It's not so much the tulip itself that I love but the way my son reacts when he sees them and how proud he is to share them with me. When I look at them now, I see my son and his big heart and handsome, smiling face. I never want to forget these moments.

My son continues to choose tulips for me each spring when they're available in our local grocery store. Right now I have a vase full of yellow ones on the kitchen table, and I believe he said that the next ones are going to be the pink ones he saw last Friday night.

I can't wait!

Before I end this post, I wanted to share this short piece I wrote one day after coming home from a shopping trip with my son:

He points out the tulips whenever we pass them, shakes my arm and urges me to look at the colors--the reds and pinks and oranges, the greens and blues and mahoganies, the deep purples and their more subtle and muted lavender sisters--and he presses me forward until we stand at the front of the display, he, clasping his hands and staring with wide, child eyes and I, watching him, the flush in his cheeks and the way he bounces on his feet, the light inside him breaking through to shine upon those flowers and us all.



Do you have a favorite flower? Is there a story behind your love for it?

56 comments:

  1. This is such a precious story...I won't look at tulips the same.

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    1. Thanks! It's amazing how children can make you look at life in a new way.

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  2. Aww, that is so sweet! I'm not a big fan of flowers, but if I had a story like yours to share, I am sure I would love them! :D

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  3. So very sweet! So glad too that you didn't dismiss his first asking for you to buy the tulips; how precious his enthusiasm for them and his wanting to give you them as a gift! I too won't look at tulips the same, even though I did enjoy watching them bloom when we lived in Montana; it was a sign spring was coming with chances of warmer weather :)

    I like carnations; like the way they smell :)

    enjoy the day!

    betty

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    1. Yes, I'm so glad I didn't say no (as I wanted to) and just go about my day. What a gift he's given me!

      Have a great day!

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  4. How sweet. Kids really do help us appreciate the little things. I'm not sure if I have a favorite flower but I do love lilacs. My mom, sister & I used to walk the neighborhood & pass by an empty log with a lilac tree. When it was blooming, we'd grab bunches of the flowers to bring home. I can still smell them today.

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    1. I love lilacs! You've reminded me of the lilac trees at my parents' house. In the spring, my sister and I would go out with our mom and pick some to bring in. It was one of our favorite things to do. I loved the smell--and still do!

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  5. awww! i love that melty feeling when our kds surprise us with love!

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  6. Jelly-jar flowers are my favorite. Jelly-jar flowers, for the uninitiated, are clumps of weeds from the yard presented to me by grimy, proud, pudgy hands. I put them in a jelly-jar of water and place them on the windowsill pedestal.

    Lucy

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    1. How sweet!

      My kids both love to bring me dandelions, which I stick in a small glass of water and put on the windowsill.

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  7. What a sweet boy you have. Tulips have always been one of my favorites. They seem so innocent and unassuming. It seems so right that your son was drawn to them at four. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I've never thought about them that way before, but I think you're right. They do seem to be a very unassuming flower, very appropriate for my son. Thanks for your comment!

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  8. Aww, what a lovely post! I had been looking forward to being able to come back and read your blog!

    I love tulips too. Like you they were never my favourite but they were my first bunch of flowers that I bought after a cold, miserable Norwegian winter. They really brightened up my week and made me feel so happy whenever I glanced at them sitting on my windowsill that I've kind of fallen in love with them :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Nikki!

      Tulips do make even the gloomiest day seem brighter. My son is wiser than I knew! :)

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  9. I love pansies because they bloom all winter. They can be covered in snow, but when the snow melts, there they are in all their glory. Beautiful!

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    1. We bought 42 pansies yesterday, and I can't wait to plant them. They always look like little faces to me--so cute!

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  10. That is a beautiful story. Very touching. I don't have a favorite flower, but maybe when I have kids someday my son or daughter will give me my new favorite flower. :)

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    1. Thanks, Krista. Kids definitely have a way of making us look at the world differently. :)

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  11. I love tulips. I had some Pink Angeliques that were spectacular one year.

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    1. Just the name--Pink Angelique--sounds gorgeous! :)

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  12. Awww, that's so sweet. I love tulips! So pretty.

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  13. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I love tulips, but sunflowers are probably my favorite.

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    1. Thanks, Liz!

      Sunflowers are gorgeous, too. My next-door neighbor in Nebraska had some. He had planted them along his fence, and they spilled over into our yard. Walking to the front of our house was like walking through a field of sunflowers. I loved it!

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  14. i used to have so many beautiful tulips--gone now--my friend had told me to put out light-bulbs to keep them safe, i never did--wonderful post and amazing poem--your son sounds so sweet:)

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    1. Thanks, Lynn.

      I'm sorry about your tulips. I would have no idea how to take care of them if they were planted out in the yard.

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  15. That's such a cute story about how you came to love tulips! Funny how our kids can change our perspective about (many) things. I believe I'm going to have a lot of fun following your blog:)

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    1. Thanks! I hope you have fun reading. :)

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  16. Dana, that is such a beautiful story! Tulips are one of my favourite flowers, but my real favourites are red gerbera. My mum was allergic to flowers but these are the flowers I associate with her because red was her favourite colour and somehow the look of them - open and beautiful - remind me of her.

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    1. That's really sweet. What a great association!

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  17. How sweet is he?! I love all kinds of flowers. No stories, though. I do remember my dad being so proud of his tiger lilies that bloomed along the side of the house when I was growing up. so whenever I see those bright orange flowers with their black dots, I think of my dad grinning. :)

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    1. That's such a sweet memory! Flowers can hold so many great memories, can't they? :)

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  18. Mrs. Penwasser planted a bunch of tulip bulbs around our wishing well (which I bought from some Amish guy for a couple bucks and some magic beans). I hadn't realized this so when I was weeding in the front yard, I looked at the sprouts coming up and ALMOST ripped out those "GD frikkin' weeds."
    I didn't, though. Dodged a bullet. There are very beautiful, though. They're all dead now. But they ARE beautiful. And I'M still alive.

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    1. Too funny! Glad you're still among the living. :)

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  19. great post! tulips are my fav, and they were even our wedding flowers. :)

    just found your blog and am following now. will be back to read more!!

    best,
    MOV

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  20. We planted tulips across our front yard one year. It was a pretty spring. :)
    #114 following
    Kate
    http://solidhappiness.blogspot.com/

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    1. I would love to plant some outside--if I could figure out how to care for them--but my husband takes too great a pleasure in weeding. Everything--and I mean everything--goes!

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  21. I love how meaningful moments can change our perception from one second to the next. Thank you for sharing such a lovely memory.

    I love sunflowers but I go crazy whenever I see tulips (they are not native to my area).

    -Barb the French Bean

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    1. Yes, sometimes the smallest moments can change an entire way of thinking.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  22. Such a precious story! :) I went to the Ottawa Tulip Festival last year and it was so beautiful that I am now a huge fan of tulips!

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    1. I would love to take my son to a festival like that!

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  23. So Sweet!
    You should get some tulip bulbs for him and plant them before the first frost in fall. It would be a fun experiment in gardening. I plant daffodil bulbs with my kindergartners and they take the pot home...and return it when it blossoms....they are bringing them in daily right now :)

    Great T post.

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  24. I am a huge fan of flowers. I saw the most beautiful tulips in Central Park this past weekend. What I like about tulips is their rich, deep colors. What I like about Jasmine is the fragrance - roses have both rich color and sweet fragrance.

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    1. I would love to see the tulips in Central Park! I've been to NYC several times but have never had the opportunity to see them. I hope you were able to take pictures. :)

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  25. What a lovely post :) I like Tulips a lot myself - they are one of my favorites.

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  26. Aww that makes the flowers all the more special. You should plant some tulips in your yard. I bet he'd be delighted to see them coming up every year.

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    1. I'd love to try that--if I can get my husband to agree! He likes the landscaping to be as simple as possible. :)

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  27. How special! I love it! Leave it to kids to remind us to take time and smell the flowers. He would love the Evangel university here in Sprinfield. Every spring they have thousands of tulips planted on their campus. Three years ago I caught them at the right time and have some beautiful shots of them. Last year not so much and this year they were bloomed and gone before I new it thanks to this crazy weather.
    until next time... nel

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    1. You're right--he would love that! Maybe someday I can take him to a place like that.

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