Twenty years ago I had a beautiful backyard in Argentina. The climate was warm enough to have colorful Oleanders, vibrant red trellis roses, various kinds of Jasmines, Myrtle trees, Lilies, Gardenias…you get the idea. I loved to spend afternoons digging, planting, transplanting, replanting, trimming and delighting in the beauty God allowed us to enjoy. There was one problem. One of my flower beds was too close to the basketball hoop. With two rambunctious sons and their friends, I often fretted over broken Petunias or Impatiens…too often.  Once when I was whining about another broken plant, Jorge calmly said: “Kath, now we have boys. One day they’ll be gone and then we can have flowers.” What I didn’t realize at the time is that our boys were not only perfecting their shooting skills at the hoop, but they were cultivating friendships, learning teamwork, making memories and establishing a good relationship with their Dad, who often joined their fun. I’m absolutely certain that our sons don’t remember one flower that bloomed in our backyard in Argentina, but it’s a place that will always be special to all of us, broken plants and all…

Now we live in northeastern Ohio. I observed my backyard out of my kitchen window this morning. Our boys are gone, but we still don’t have flowers. Not one. Now I see a Hot Wheels scooter, a tricycle that’s already too small, a blue elephant slide, a swing that “Lolo” (Grandpa) made, a gigantic black rubber spider, a purple stretchy lizard and 2 bright green frogs with spring-legs. You see, we have two grandsons. I don’t have the picture-perfect flowerbeds I once longed for, and it’s OK. I finally got over it, and it’s totally OK to see what I see in my backyard now. Now, after all those years, I caught on…memories of good times, lots of laughs and clean fun are more valuable than the most beautiful flower beds in the neighborhood.  As I looked at my flowerless backyard, I thanked God for my adult sons, my wise husband, and my lively grandsons. I wouldn’t trade good times with all of them for any picture-perfect flowerbed!


  1. Carole says:

    Your son flowers grew up and got transplanted. Glad you enjoyed them while they were blooming at your house! They’re pretty great now, from what I see of them.


  2. Lilly says:

    Plant some flowers and teach your grandsons to enjoy God’s creation too; just don’t fret when some break or are trampled. God bless!


  3. Martha says:

    Thanks for this post! Saturday I was digging in my garden to get it ready for vegetable seeds and the boys decided to “help”. I now have a HUGE canyon where a “soup pot” was overflowing with muddy water. I found that they were getting their “ingredients” from another crater that was being dug right outside the basement door. This is certainly not what I had planned for my backyard or my garden, but I didn’t stop them. They are boys. They need to dig. Of course, the whole time we’re out there together, they are also a captive audience to my lessons on the miracle of seeds and pollenation and plant growth, etc. We have one of the most lived-in backyards in the neighborhood, and three of the happiest boys around! 🙂


  4. peg toth says:

    funny how grandchildren can make your yard look so beautiful without flowers. I just love seeing 9 of htem coming across our back yard, calling “grandma, grandma, papa, papa” There’s not a flower in this world that is as beautiful as that! I love your post.


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