Friday, May 10, 2013

The Tulip Girl

Four and a half is special. It's full of spunk, sensitivity, sweetness, and imagination. Sometimes, I worry about five, about kindergarten changing my firstborn. Then I remember that praying does wonders compared to worrying. Worrying is such a waste of time, but when you are a parent, trying not to worry is kind of like trying not to blink your eyes. Ever.

A couple of days ago, the boys and I were walking around downtown (downtown of our suburb, not Vancouver proper) and O spotted a girl about his age standing by the tulips in the town square. Her mom was on her cell phone, pushing a stroller, and so O sidled up next to her and said "Hi! Would you like to be my new friend?" I wasn't surprised because that is what he says to most new kids he meets, even though we've told him that he can just say hi and start playing. As cute as it is to hear him say that, I've seen him be rejected or ignored with the ensuing tears too many times. I figure it's better not to give the other kid the opportunity to say "No, I don't want to be your friend"!

I wanted to keep walking to get home for lunch before T had a hunger meltdown, so I called O to come along. He scooted back over to my side with a pout and said, barely audible, "But I love her." I stopped walking because I thought surely I must have misheard him. When I asked him what he had said, he looked up at me and said "But I fell in love with her, Mommy." It was very matter of fact, and he looked back at the little girl, who was starting to catch up to us on the sidewalk with her entourage. It was all I could do not to laugh, and I pulled our stroller out of the way and let them pass. I might have had a very disappointed, lovelorn little four and a half year old on my hands, but luckily we then heard a familiar voice call out "Hey, there's my family!" It was the boy I fell in love with and married; my husband just happened to be walking down the sidewalk with a group of students from his youth group. It was perfect timing to mend O's little heart and he was silly and happy again.

One day though, I hope he falls in love for real, and has that love returned, albeit hopefully not as quickly as with tulip girl! Is it wrong that I made him promise to call me every day? I'd even settle for once a week. Today, out of the blue, O said to his brother "T, when you grow up and live with your new family, can I come and visit you?" Even though I'm pretty sure T had no idea what O was saying, he had an uncharacteristically serious look on his face when he said yes. Hooray for establishing lifelong family ties. Or maybe passing anxiety about the future onto my kids? I missed that section in the parenting manual.

We couldn't resist this abandoned lot full of "blowing flowers." I'm sure the neighbours loved us for releasing trillions of dandelion seeds into their yards. Hmm...I think we'll take a different route home for the next few days until they forget our faces!


  1. You are an amazing writer! I can just picture this whole scene!


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