It wasn’t much in retrospect. Some of the most memorable things started that way for me too… I guess that’s proof the old adage, “Little things mean a lot,” carries some weight, measured in wisdom instead of pounds. The act on my part was really an afterthought or deeper thought.
Our youngest isn’t a little girl anymore and I try to treat her as such. I know what it’s like to be the youngest; it’s not easy, although there is no perfect childhood, regardless which order a kid lands in. Being the youngest tends to make us want to be treated like our older siblings are or were. We tend to try to grow up too fast.
With all her presents and cards on the kitchen countertop, I had about an hour before the baby of the family got back home with her mom on the day we were celebrating her birthday for the fifteenth time. I figured with age she might appreciate roses like her mom and sisters do, so out the door I went. I happen to be one of those type of people who subscribe to the, “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” kind of mentality.
I spotted the red and white roses along with the regular girl behind the counter.
“Hi! How are you!” she greeted me kindly.
“Pretty good, how are you?” I answered with appreciation.
“Can I help you with anything?”
I quickly scanned the scads of roses and flowers, my dog-house-trained-eyes spotted the best two and fished them out of the bushel and answered, “Can you do these two up for me?” I held the roses out away from myself trying to avoid the drops of water draining from the stems.
“Sure! I can put some babies’ breath with them too – they’re a dollar a piece.. I think three would be beautiful,” she answered while her artistic mind was seeing the future.
“Yeah, thanks, that’d be great,” I answered.
“Is that all for you?”
“No… I think I need a balloon too.”
“Regular or mylar?”
“Uhhhhmmmm… Mylar – Number three.”
“Okay – sure!”
That’s when I spotted them; stuffed animals. The years of buying stuffed animals for my little one came rushing back to me in a whirlwind. I can’t recall all the little stuffed animals I’ve gotten her over the years… It used to be one of our favorite things to do together. I always appreciated CrakerJax, the amusement park/arcade, but we’d usually combine the two for a Saturday double-header. My little one always wanted them all, but alas I’d only let her get one, sometimes two at a time.
I gazed the rack of stuffed animals knowing instinctively that the smallest might be the biggest hit at this point in her life… I picked that tad of wisdom up from her two older sisters. I arranged the vase with the red and white roses beside the other presents on the counter. I set the little yellow teddy bear in front leaning against the vase with the yellow string wrapped around his paw – the helium filled mylar “Happy Birthday” balloon lifting the little yellow paw up in the air as if he might really be holding it.
Our youngest didn’t say much after opening presents which included a “long board” skateboard and her favorite buttons to pin on her purse. She was excited, it was a good day… Later that night before I went to bed and was turning off the kitchen lights, I glanced over at the roses… I appreciate them as much as all my girls do really.
As I gazed at the last glimpse of the day I noticed the little yellow teddy bear and the balloon were gone… I knew what it meant. It meant my little one will remember that day, the skateboard, the buttons, the roses, and that little yellow teddy bear that she whisked off to her room.
It also reminded me that little things mean a lot…