No matter where in the yard a dandelion is growing, Shane will find it. He’ll be completely engrossed in his play, but as soon as he spots a fuzzy puff-ball out of the corner of his eye he’s off and running. Exclamations of “Dun-dun-why-on! My Dun-dun-why-on!” drift back in my direction as his little legs carry him towards his holy grail of flowers…a dandelion gone to seed.
He used to grab the flower head itself and yank it up, only to discover, to his dismay, that the puff disintegrated in his hand. Now he’ll carefully take hold of the stem, cheering with such joy and pride as he picks it, and standing victorious with a long-stemmed puffball clutched in one pudgy fist.
He’s still trying to figure out the art of blowing dandelions. Usually he’ll blow a bit too enthusiastically, spattering the seed head with spittle. Sometimes he’ll breathe in deeply by mistake, surprising himself as he sucks the delicate parachutes into his mouth. But, once in a while, he’ll get it just right, and send dandelion seeds drifting across the yard.
I wonder what he’d wish for, if he already believed in the magic of wishing on a dandelion. At this stage in his development, wishing is still such an abstract concept. His wishes focus on the here and now, on the moment that he’s in the midst of experiencing.
He wishes for a snack when he’s hungry.
He wishes for a snuggle when he’s sad and a kiss when he’s hurt.
He wishes for independence…and the comfort and security of his Mama and Daddy.
He wishes for someone to lay beside him and ease him off into dreamland when he’s tired.
He wishes for uninhibited fun and novel experiences and undivided attention.
Such simple wishes, really. So simple and innocent and pure.
I need to learn to be more like my son…saving my dandelion wishes for all that is truly important, and not wasting a single delicate puff on those things that matter very little in the long run.