Monday, 7 April 2014

Dandelions

When I was 7 years old Hannah was my best friend. I can't remember how Hannah and I first met. I suppose we had been in the same class at school together beginning in Junior Kindergarten and friends since then no doubt, but it wasn't until Mrs. DeJonge's Grade 2 class where we shared an experience that would bond us forever. This is the story that sealed our friendship.



It was springtime in Southern Ontario and the fields at school were covered in dandelions. As a young girl full of life, I saw a sea of possibilities. Make a crown of these yellow wands? Bring some home for my mom? Rub it on my nose so I turn yellow? All of the above? Definitely. At one point during my spritely young years I attempted all of those things. But this year was different. Hannah and I took this field as a challenge. For every recess and lunch hour this week, we would pick every last dandelion on the entire school field and collect them for our teacher. Mrs. DeJonge was our favourite and what better way to show a grown up appreciation than a pile of hundreds of weeds? We ran into our first problem when we realized there was no way we could carry all of these flowers in our hands. Looking around and finding no bucket, or container we opted for the obvious alternative- Hannah's jacket. It must have been a warm week for Hannah to give up her jacket so willingly. I knew she must be good people. Every day as the bell rang announcing the beginning of recess we'd sprint out to where we left off (and left her jacket) and continue sweeping the field for missed sprouts and new patches. Lucky for us her jacket lived through the week without being stolen. If my memory serves, we left her jacket out there with a pile of dandelions camoflauging it every night for the full week.


When Friday came we knew this was our day. Finally our teacher would know how great she was- and maybe even give us better marks because of how sweet we are? When we got out to the pile at lunch I don't think we could have been more proud. Excitement, nerves, and definitely a healthy dose of arrogance about the whole matter washed over us. This pile was huge. It was probably the same size as Hannah since her jacket was now overflowing.


The bell rings.


It was time. We carefully picked up two corners each of the jacket and carried it to the doors. Walking in with our heads held high we made it to the classroom flowers in tact and placed the pile of hard work on Mrs. D's desk. Smiling big we tell her this is for her.


She tilts her head, and smiles at us softly uttering the last 4 words we ever wanted to hear after the most gruelling week of our 7 years on earth; "I'm allergic to dandelions."


She thanked us anyway, and instructed to take the flowers outside and let them free. I thought she had to be kidding me. We just spent all of our free time for a full week picking weeds and this lady is gonna come up here and make us throw it all away?!


We obliged. The walk was solemn and long. It was as if the theme 'Life and Death' from LOST was being played loudly in the speakers of our thoughts. How could this day get any worse. We said our goodbyes and dumped out our blood, sweat, and tears in the form of these weeds. Shaking out her jacket as if in slow motion we slowly realized this day wasn't done with us yet. We laid out her jacket and looked wide eyed at each other seeing what we had done. As it turns out, dandelions stain, and by now her entire jacket was yellow. We took a second to laugh at our pain, then turned around and headed back in to face the rest of our lives.


In my opinion, this week solidified our best-friendship for years to come.



4 comments:

  1. :) Aww, man--well, I guess in a way all of your hard work was not for nothing!

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    1. Definitely not! The years of friendship it secured was worth the pain. haha

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  2. Allergic!? :) This style of writing makes me think of that short story, All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury (a story I relate to by living a year in Seattle). The build up and let down of things as a kid are so interesting to look back on. Good intentions always birth more goodness. You and your friend were totally on the same page. How fun.

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    1. I agree! It really intrigues me, and I'm so happy I can remember stories like this and look back just like wow, my perspective on the world was so small and different.

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