This year in the spring my lawn was the brightest and cheeriest on the block. Turn the corner and you would be greeted in a warm yellow embrace. Yes, you see, we had a slight dandelion invasion. It was a visual reminder of my failure to do the necessary lawn care and maintenance stemming all the way back to the previous fall. My daughter, however, was elated. We may not have had the greenest lawn in the neighborhood, we had something better: flowers.
My sweet three-year old didn’t realize dandelions often ranked top of the list for pesky lawn problems. She didn’t care that our neighbors were less than thrilled to look at the blossoms and white feathery seeds. Based on her simple investigative skills, the dandelions were flowers. They grew in the ground, they bloomed, they were bright, and could picked and shared with others. And she was right.
I feel bad for the dandelions. They really are beautiful. Their presence signals warmer weather and happy outdoor adventures. They spur wish-making. Yet, somewhere along the way dandelions shifted from whimsical wildflowers to a yard menace. We stopped admiring the beauty of a simple yellow flower and started to view it as an irritant. It was a labeled a weed and instantly despised by the world.
However, if you are three, a dandelion is a flower. You make your decision based on your own assessment. Your opinion is not based on what others think or say. You love a yard full of dandelions because they are flowers, and you love flowers.
I was handed dozens of dandelion bouquets this spring. I was thankful for the sweet gesture from my three-year old, but also for the life lesson. Life is more than just getting in line and following others. Life is about figuring out what you love with great confidence and passion.
If you are like me, you probably were not aware how wise a three-year old could be. When I really think about how my three-year old approaches life, I kind of like it. My pint-sized pro bono life coach has taught me than just botany. She has taught me to take up space. Don’t be afraid to make your presence known. Life isn’t about taking the back seat, it’s about striding assertively into a room, finding exactly what makes you happy, and going for it. If you need help, ask for it. If you have a question, seek answers. And if you have something to say, speak up.
What if we shifted our thinking and embraced things for what we know they are, instead of what others say they are? What if we fell in love with the dandelions even though others say they are weeds? What if we made life more straightforward just like a three-year old?