gardeningOnce upon a time, there was a little boy that loved to garden.  His mummy bought him his own garden tools and scooting garden cart with big yellow wheels.  As much as some toddlers want a stuffed teddy bear, that’s how much he wanted that cart of his very own.  He helped his mummy whenever she went outside, and more often than not, he begged her to go outside to enjoy his garden.

They spent a lot of their time at a local nursery, walking up and down the aisles, letting him pull a little red wagon to hold their plants and flowers.  One adventurous weekday, they bought and planted over 200 bulbs that bloomed year after year.  People would drive by and stop to talk to the little toddler and his mummy on matching garden carts.  They had a lot of fun together.

Not only did this joyous little gardener have the standard trowels and rakes, he had almost every gardening tool imaginable, including a rather sharp pair of pruning shears.  Not to fear, he was never unsupervised, for they sat on their carts side by side chatting and enjoying their time in the yard.

ladybugOne of his mummy’s favorite plants was a miniature azalea.  It took a very, very long time for this little bush to grow just a foot tall.  When it bloomed, it had the most beautiful little light pink flowers, ruffly and compact.

Helping weed the garden one day, the little boy came across a rather strange weed.  Unlike the others easily plucked with his gloved hands, this one offered some resistance.  In the blink of an eye, he reached for the shears and cut the weed off at the ground level.

It wasn’t a weed, it was his mummy’s miniature azalea bush, cut down in one fell swoop.  His mummy sadly looked at it on the grass, but couldn’t be upset with her little helper.

Normally, it would have made sense to get another one to replace it, but she never found another one and eventually gave up looking.  There were so many other things needing tending in their garden that it soon became forgotten for many years, until this weekend.

IMAG0426-1While shopping for some annuals, she unexpectedly saw a beautiful miniature azalea bush for the first time just like the one cut down so many years ago.  Her heart and mind went back to that day and it was bittersweet.  Her little helper is a young man now, but to her, he’s still that sweet and innocent little toddler in the garden.

There was only one of those azalea bushes in the nursery, and it had been so long since she had seen one, so she bought it and brought it home.  Her little helper will be home from college soon to help plant it, but this time around, his mummy is taking the shears away.