My son and I planted about 20 lily bulbs the first summer we lived here in Iowa. The little guy was almost 2 years old when we saw the boxed bulbs at Sam’s Club and on a whim, I bought a few of them. We took our treasure trove home, and began to bury it. As I dug the holes, my boy was much more interested in making sure each bulb had a kiss and hug than joining me in the dirt with the little navy blue trowel that was just his size.
“We’re making fwowers!” he would exclaim every time I buried another bulb in the dusty summer soil.
He had no idea how long the wait would be for the reward of “our” hard work. The first year we were eager as we waited for what would only be a few inches of plant growth to surface. There would be no blossoms to admire, but my boy didn’t appear to care. He praised the urchin like beginnings of green and burgundy foliage that peeked through the ground and looked for them when ever we were in the yard.
“Fwowers, Mommy!” he would say with excitement and wonder as he pointed out the little plants with pride. With grin on his face and a drool and dirt line on his tee shirt, he toddled about the grass from bulb to bulb discovering new growth in the fwower beds.
After 2 years of anticipation, our reward came when the bulbs finally burst forth with stunning blossoms in July. I think my son was more fascinated with his Stargazers and Casablancas than the fireworks display!
I love seeing the lilies grow each year. They get taller, thicker stocks and heartier, larger blossoms. In some ways it’s like my almost-first-grader son who despite loosing his front teeth, can now say flowers perfectly, is beginning to read, and can now ride a two wheel bike. The flower stems have reached a higher height than the little guy this year, but I know it’s only temporary. The little guy is growing up.
Every year the flowers eventually fade, but the vibrant memories never will.