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My View: Dandelions hold special memories of mom's smile

By Robert Simpson

I loved my mom. She asked me important questions like, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I had a good answer for that. I told her, “When I grow up I want to be tall enough to reach the cookies in the cupboard.”

It’s tough always having to ask someone taller for a cookie, especially if it’s your mom you are asking. Moms always keep track of how many cookies their kids eat in a day. Today, now that I am grown up, I think of my mom every time I reach for a cookie in the cupboard. I even think of her when I reach for sugar or spice.

My favorite thing to do when I was 4 was to make my mom smile. And it didn’t take long for me to figure out just what made her the happiest of all. One day, on Feb. 14, my dad came home from work and gave my mom flowers from a store. My mom smiled at my dad like I had never seen her smile before. That’s when I knew what I had to do. I had to find some flowers. I packed that thought away in my young brain and waited for the snow to melt.

When the sun finally came out in the spring, flowers were popping up all through the neighborhood. I took my wagon into our front lawn, and I picked every yellow flower I could find. I cleared the whole lawn. Then I headed to our backyard and cleared that, too. I didn’t know what kind of flowers they were, but they were bright yellow and I just knew my mom would love them.

I filled my whole wagon with them. When there wasn’t a flower left to pick, I put them all in a bag, and brought them into the kitchen and laid them out on our kitchen table. When I had them all arranged I went and found my mom and brought her into the kitchen to see her big surprise. My dad tagged along. I could tell by my mom’s smile that she loved them. Her eyes lit up and her smile almost turned into laughing because she loved them so much.

I heard my dad coughing so hard that I thought he was going to cry. He was overcome by emotion. My mom told me that those were her most favorite flowers in the whole world. She told me they were dandelions. They didn’t look like lions to me, but if she loved them, that was good enough for me.

Robert Simpson.

I never wanted her joy to end. We were very lucky on Jerauld Avenue. We had tons of the most beautiful flowers in the world, and I set off down the street with my wagon to pick every one. I could tell that all our neighbors were proud of me for bringing these flowers home to my mom. They let me have every flower on their front and back lawns. They all smiled when I had collected a wagonful, and some even gave me cookies and lemonade. My mom thanked me and gave me a big hug with every batch.

It was hard work for a kid. You always had to wait until the bumblebees were done hovering over the flowers before you could pick them.

I don’t pick those flowers myself anymore, but I think about my mom, and how smart she was, and how much she loved me, every time the dandelions pop up in our yard in the spring.

Robert Simpson, of Williamsville, thinks of his mom whenever he reaches for a cookie.

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