My day began on a decidedly sour note
when I saw my six-year-old wrestling with a limb of my azalea
bush. By the time I got outside, he'd broken it.
"Can I take this to school
today?" he asked.
With a wave of my hand, I sent
him off. I turned my back so he couldn't see the tears
gathering in my eyes. I loved that azalea bush. I touched the
broken limb as if to say silently, 'I'm sorry.' I wished I
could have said that to my husband earlier, but I'd been
angry. The washing machine had leaked on my brand new
linoleum. If he'd just taken the time to fix it the night
before when I asked him instead of playing checkers with our
son. 'What are his priorities anyway?' I
I was still mopping up the mess
when Jonathan walked into the kitchen. "What's for
breakfast, Mom?" I opened the empty refrigerator. "Not
cereal," I said, watching the sides of his mouth drop. "How
about toast and jelly?" I smeared the toast with jelly and set
it in front of him. 'Why was I so angry?' I tossed my
husband's dishes into the sudsy water. It was days like this
that made me want to quit. I wanted to go somewhere and
I managed to lug the wet clothes to the Laundromat. I spent
most of the day there washing and drying clothes and thinking
how love had disappeared from my life. Staring at the graffiti
on the walls, I felt as wrung-0ut as the clothes left in the
washers. As I finished hanging up the last of my husband's
shirts, I looked at the clock ~ 2:30! I was late! Jonathan's
class let out at 2:15. I dumped the clothes in the back seat
and hurriedly drove to the school.
out of breath by the time I knocked on the teacher's door and
peered through the glass. With one finger, she motioned for me
to wait. She said something to Jonathan and handed him and two
other children crayons and a sheet of paper. 'What now,' I
thought, as she rustled through the door and took me aside.
to talk to you about Jonathan," she
prepared myself for the worst. Nothing would have surprised
know Jonathan brought flowers to school today?" she
nodded, thinking about my favorite azalea bush and trying to
hide the hurt in my eyes. I glanced at my son busily coloring
tell you about yesterday," the teacher insisted. "See that
watched the bright-eyed child laugh and point to a colorful
picture taped to the wall. I nodded.
yesterday she was almost hysterical. Her mother and father are
going through a nasty divorce. She told me she didn't want to
live, she wished she could die. I watched that little girl
bury her face in her hands and say loud enough for the class
to hear, 'Nobody loves me.' I did all I could to console her,
but it only seemed to make matters
thought you wanted to talk to me about Jonathan," I said,
getting somewhat impatient.
the teacher said, touching the sleeve of my blouse. "Today,
your son walked straight over to that little girl. I watched
him hand her some pretty pink flowers and whisper, 'I love
felt my heart swell with pride for what my son had done. I
smiled at the teacher. "Thank you," I said, reaching for
Jonathan's hand, "you've made my day."
that evening, I began pulling weeds from around my lopsided
azalea bush. As my mind wandered back to the love Jonathan
showed the little girl, a biblical verse came to me: "Now
these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of
these is love." While my son had put love into practice, I had
only felt anger.
the familiar squeak of my husband's brakes as he pulled into
the drive. I snapped a small limb bristling with hot pink
azaleas off the bush. I felt the seed of love that God planted
in my family beginning to bloom once again in me. My husband's
eyes widened in surprise as I handed him the flowers. "I love
Author Known to
"And a child shall lead them . .