It never happens like this here.
The wet, black soil bursting forth with vibrant greens birthing rainbows of flowers, all springing forth at the same time in the unseasonable warmth of March in the prairie of northern Illinois.
It's a beautiful site, the array of flora spread across the beds.
I wipe beads of sweat from my forehead, sitting fully in the present moment of fighting weeds from the beds I'd naively invited only flowers to spread across.
And isn't that, though, how it is always? Haven't I only invited the blooms into my gardens, the fruit of seedlings planted all while cursing the weeds that sprout up amid the perfection of color and sweet-smelling scents of tulips and lilacs.
Don't I always want my flower beds teeming with everything but weeds all at the same time -- a constant display of flowering beauty without the unsightliness of jagged-edges of green invading my garden party.
I yank at their roots, in my own strength, in my own will, my own strong-armed attempt to clear out the beds.
But can't I enjoy the beautiful even amid the weeds?
He's on my right plucking the weeds, too.
But he leaves the bright yellow of dandelion growing tall, growing high, trying to kiss the sun.
Sweetheart, those are weeds, too. I say. We pull them out, too.
Reluctantly, he wraps his fingers around the stem and gently pulls it from the Earth.
That night evening, there's a bright yellow dandelion lightly submerged in the water of a glass jar atop of my plant table in the living room.
To me, it's still not beautiful -- this weed he's deemed worthy of flower status. And I still don't want it overcrowding my flowers.
But when he ran to me, with it captured inside the make-shift vase to show me the weed, his eyes glowing with love stemming from the gift he was about to give, I declared thankfulness in the face of ugly-weed yellow.
Not so much for the actual weed, but for what came from it -- a cultivation of gift-giving spirit in my oldest.
And a realization in my own mind that I can give thanks for the unexpected gifts, the growth that comes from the weeds tucked in the beds among the feast of flowers that have sprung forth in this rich season of my life.