Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tiny Blessings

My third-grader has one of the favorite teachers at the elementary school. My son just loves him. So of course when my son's teacher gave him a young lilikoi (yellow passionfruit) vine as a prize for being a good student, that little plant was precious.

We picked a nice spot in the yard, by a wall for the vine to climb on. Then we dug the hole together and put the plant in place. It was close enough to the wall that I thought the people who come to mow the lawn would leave it alone. I knew I ought to tie a bright pink ribbon around it to make sure they'd see the leggy vine with its three big green leaves and know that it was meant to be there.

I never did.

One day I went out front, smiled to see the grass cut, and then spied a sad little stick poking up by the wall where our lilikoi used to be.

It had been mowed.

Heartbroken, I told my son the sad news. He took it better than I did, assuring me that the stick would grow new leaves. But I knew better. The next time the mowers came, the stick disappeared entirely.

Hoping to grow a replacement, I saved the seeds from a lilikoi and put them in a pot. Weeks went by. The children knocked the pot over while playing and I had to sweep the dirt up and dump it back in. Oh well. Nothing would be coming up in there.

Last Friday as I walked home from teaching I thought of that lilikoi again. I grieved, wishing I'd taken better care of it, sorry we'd lost the opportunity to say, "That beautiful lilikoi growing all over the wall was a prize from my son's favorite teacher." I prayed that I could forgive myself for being careless with something that was precious to my child.

When I got home I happened to glance in the pot, the pot where I thought nothing would come up.

Three lilikoi sprouts!

I called my son, telling him I had a surprise for him. When I showed him the baby lilikoi he asked, "Are those for me?"  Yes, I told him, to make up for the one we lost. The hug he gave me melted all my guilt and regret away.

Thank the Lord for tiny blessings.

5 comments:

L.T. Elliot said...

So glad the lilikoi sprouted! What a beautiful lesson to all of us on tender mercy, on hope, on balance. What a great mommy! What a lucky son. =]

Kathy said...

what a great story!

Rita (alias Grandma) said...

And soo--also with your writing career pot!!

Karen Akins said...

I just love this. :)

Rebecca J. Carlson said...

Thanks, everyone! There's two more seedlings now, and even the pot from my "Writing Career" post has a baby tree coming up!