Last week I saw them popping up everywhere. Dandelions, dozens and dozens of them, covering my lawn. When we moved in seven years ago, our lawn looked like a perfect carpet. We’re fortunate to have a sprinkler system, which we ran regularly for a few years while things still looked good. Keeping up your lawn is expensive and typically involves lots of chemicals. We started using organic products, but they never really worked. As the years passed, things continued to decline, and now our lawn looks like this:
We live on a quiet dead-end street. Without a doubt, our lawn is now an eyesore on the street. One of our neighbors has a lawn care business and I’m convinced they find mine so offensive that one of these days they will offer to re-do it for free just so they don’t have to look at it anymore. Another neighbor has a perfectly coiffed front yard, complete with a “KEEP DOGS OFF LAWN” sign. I vacillate between wanting my dog to take a huge poop on their lawns just to spite them, and secretly wishing we had a lawn care truck pulling up every other week. In truth, I can’t even say with confidence that we would pay for the service because I’m not excited by the prospect of overloading my yard with chemicals. I probably take it way too personally when someone drives by disapprovingly glaring at our field of dandelions. I feel this innate need to run after them yelling, “We’re really great people! Don’t you look at my lawn that way you shallow meanie pants! Shame on you!” What we’re working on inside of this house, every day of every year, raising our children as best we can, is what matters most.
The cyclical nature with which my six year-old daughter senses my feelings surrounding this delicate issue never ceases to amaze me. Almost every week of dandelion “season” she presents me with a bunch of the yellow suckers and says, “Mommy, I picked you flowers.” Her smile is bright, and where others see weeds and dismay, she sees beauty and optimism. Wouldn’t it be grand if there was more of that in this world?
“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them”. ~A.A. Milne