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.