In the Spring of 2010, I did something terrible.
Our youngest daughter, Cozette, who was 6 at the time, was gathering flowers of weeds that were beginning to overrun our yard. The good shepherd that I am tried explaining to her that weeds are lies, and that their flowers are deceptions to keep us from pulling them up by the roots so that they don’t steal the nutrients from the grass.
She smiled up at me and said, “But grass doesn’t have these beautiful flowers, Daddy.” And then she continued to gather a tiny bouquet.
Then, in a flash of parenting brilliance, I decided to take my argument up a notch. “Grrrr” I growled. “I am the weed monster and I’ve come for the flower-weeds!” Then I reached down, grabbed two handfuls of flowers out of the ground, shredded them up, and flung them into the air.
When I looked back at her, her little eyes were filled with tears. In that moment my little girl’s heart was utterly shattered. And it was my fault because I tried thinking too much like an adult–disregarding how a child sees things.
Thankfully, she forgave me quickly and this year we harvested dozens of coffee cup bouquets.
Weeds really are beautiful flowers when you stop to look at them. When you put down the Roundup long enough. When you rise up to the level of a child.