As children bid the guest good-night,
And then reluctant turn,
My flowers raise their pretty lips,
Then put their nightgowns on.
As children caper when they wake,
Merry that it is morn,
My flowers from a hundred cribs
Will peep, and prance again.
Crocuses have begun peeping from the barren earth. Incongruously bright against the dead grass, they dot the brown with tiny firework-explosions of white and purple.
Each plant sends forth a single bloom, so when my newly ten-year-old son comes running with a minuscule blossom clamped between two fingers, I am lanced with bittersweetness. That flower is done, gone. My little boy, not so little anymore, still brings me the first flower he finds every spring.
Parenthood is like that, love laced with delight and punctuated by constant reminders that no moment is forever.