Sunday, February 24, 2013

Magnolias and Sunlight

"They bloomed! The flowers bloomed! Come look!"

I was sound asleep when gleeful whisper-shouts came from the kids. Tyler must have seen them first; the blooms of the magnolia tree out side the girls' bedroom window, because he is the one I heard excitedly calling for the girls to come and see, while trying not to be too loud (and failing at it).

Being mostly asleep, tucked deep under blankets and pillows, I assumed that the flowers they meant were the crocuses in the front yard. They had sprouted green, for days looking as if they were thiiiiis close to blooming.

I didn't actually get out of bed to investigate, instead choosing to listen to my kids chatter with excitement. I listened to giggles and ooh's and ahh's from the warm comfort of my bed. While their sweetness didn't rouse me at 7:45 am on a weekend (though, let's be honest, I'm not sure that I would have been excited to get up at 9 am, either), it did put a smile on my face and make me a bit happier to start the day. Especially helpful when, minutes later, the little punks delightful sprites began fighting over who got to stand in front of the heater.

Ah, the joys of an old house with a wall heater, cold February mornings and squabbly kids.

It wasn't until this morning as we piled into the car for church when Tyler asked if the tree with the flowers would bloom all year that I realized that the kids must have been talking about the Magnolia tree in the backyard the morning before. It is like magic when it blooms, full and bright overnight.

We drove down and I looked over my shoulder for the frothy pink blooms peeking up and over the fence from three houses away. Sure enough, I could see the tip top of our tree in all its white and pink glory.

As soon as we rounded the corner I forgot the tree; the busy day had begun and needed my attention.

Hours later the sun was dipping back behind the house and I knew that the light would hit the magnolias in a way that would make them look like they were on fire, so I grabbed my camera and headed out back. I stood beneath the tree, camera focused up.

snap, snap, snap

Every year the magic magnolias bloom before I expect it, so I peek out a window, smile at their prettiness and go about my day forgetting all about them until their stinky wilted petals litter the lawn. I wasn't going to forget this year, no way.

snap, snap, snap

I climbed onto a chair, then on top of the kids play structure to get in a little closer.

snap, snap

The girls came running out to giggle at me perched on their playhouse to take pictures, but also saying, "Over there! Get that one? Did you get it, momma?" then "Mommy, mommy! Take my picture!"

A mom can never resist that request, even if the little girl's eyes are red rimmed from the little tantrum she'd been throwing just moments before because it was clear the she was hungry and tired.

I pointed my camera at my little girl and thanked God for magnolia trees and joyful little voices to appreciate them, waning sunlight and red rimmed eyes on sweet little girls.


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