Little Green Blessings
I always wanted a Christmas wedding. I had fantasized as a young girl of bridesmaids in red velvet trimmed in white fur and snow covered Christmas trees lining the cathedral aisle. When the man of my dreams proposed in October, I knew a large formal wedding could not be planned in a couple of months and I wasn’t going to wait another year. We had a life to get on with. So we decided on a Spring Break wedding, landing on St. Patrick’s Day. A red color scheme was abandoned for emerald green and gold lame’.
The wedding was glorious. Satiny emerald dresses reflected candlelight and brass lanterns adorned the sanctuary. I was wed to my best friend in a fairy tale setting complete with carriage ride to the reception. Jewel toned emerald colors and delicate white flowers surrounded our nuptials.
Bailey had Christmas money burning a hole in his pocket, so we went shopping. We stopped into one of my favorite stores and my son walked past a sale table and screeched to a halt. Sitting on the fifty-percent-off-after-Christmas-sale table was a nutcracker. Not just any nutcracker, mind you. This was a baseball player in a kelly green and white pin stripe uniform.
My son in all of his 8 year old wisdom exclaimed, “Momma! This would be perfect for me. I collect nutcrackers, my room is green, and baseball is my favorite sport!”
I checked the price tag. Though it was 50% off, it still would use up all of his money. I told him he could afford it, but it would take everything. He stood in front of that sale table for eons, trying to decide whether or not to give it all up for that nutcracker. Finally, with eyes downcast and wrinkled brow, he decided he couldn’t let go of all the money and we left the store without the nutcracker. I assured him it was always better to wait if you weren’t certain about a purchase.
For weeks, he talked about the nutcracker-that-got-away. I couldn’t believe he was so attached to the idea of a baseball player nutcracker. Months later as I tucked him into bed, his chubby face was crestfallen, pinched eyebrows and pouty lips broke my heart.
“What’s wrong, Bailey?”
“I was just thinking about that nutcracker.”
After all this time, it still weighed heavily on his mind? I was sure he would have forgotten about it by now.
“I made the wrong decision. I should have bought it.” His lip quivered and a tear slid down his rosy cheek.
My heart fractured as I gazed into his glistening eyes. “Well,” I asked, “are you gonna be able to stop thinking about it and get some rest?”
“Probably not.” His voice cracked.
My heart wrenched right out of my chest and shattered on the floor to see him so miserable. “Well, do you want me to get you something to sleep with?”
“Okay.” He swallowed back tears in a forlorn voice.
I walked to my closet and pulled out a hidden gift, unwrapped the tissue and held it behind my back. I took it to him and said, “Will this do?”
I revealed the Little Green Baseball Nutcracker that I had returned to purchase for his birthday. His face lit like a bonfire, joy exploded onto his features. He reached for the nutcracker, then swerved around it and grabbed me in a bear hug and sobbed into my hair.
“Thank you, Momma.” His little voice broke, his tender eyes weeping tears of joy.
We hugged and cried as he stroked with reverent awe, the little green blessing. Finally, he settled down, we wiped our tears with gulps and shudders and laughter of relief and wandered into the land of dreams.
It sat on the side walk in front of the antique shop, tiny and green and just the right size for the three year old walking along, hand in hand with me.
“Mommy! Look!” She tugged on my arm and pointed at the perfectly sized rocking chair. Slipping her fingers out of mine, she ran to the chair and backed into it, bottom first. A bright smile dawned on her face.
“Come on, sweetie. Let’s go inside.” I had one thing on my mind, finding a chest of drawers for the nursery before the baby came. I pressed my fist into my back and waddled into the store
Dayla pouted out her bottom lip and scowled, but obeyed and followed me into the musty smelling shop. A longing glance at the perfect green rocking chair, still moving back and forth, carried her through the door.
I found the dresser and negotiated a price, arranged for it to be delivered and called Dayla from the front window. “Time to go, baby. What are you looking at?”
“My rocking chair, mommy. It fits me just right, did you see?”
“It does? Show me.” I grinned at my precious daughter as she dragged me out to the side walk. Frustrated with my pace, Dayla ran ahead and hugged her chair, then planted her bum in the seat.
“See, Mommy? It’s juuuust right.” She rubbed her chubby fingers along the arm rests and kicked the rocker into high tilt, face beaming with satisfaction.
I watched sheer joy dawn across her face. This child was not one to ask for every little thing. She rarely got attached to objects. I waved to the store clerk, struck a bargain and loaded the tiny green rocker into the van.
Dayla was ecstatic.
“Oh Mommy! Thank you thank you thank you! Oh Mommy, it is perfect! Oh my! Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Dayla kept the words of gratitude rolling all the way home in a chorus of jubilant repetition in her Shirley Temple voice.
My eyes welled with tears to hear such deep and heartfelt appreciation pour out of a three year old. “Dear Lord,” I thought, “Let my heart be so full of thanks when you send blessings my way.” I glanced into the rearview mirror to see Dayla wagging her head emphatically, fist wrapped possessively around the little green rocking chair.
“Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!”
I was never really fond of the color green, red or blue was more to my liking, until these little green blessings started infiltrating my life. Green has become one of my favorite colors.
I cannot see the color green without thinking about the good things in my life. Emeralds and satin, pinstriped baseball nutcrackers and little green rocking chairs have become symbols of love and family for me.
The marriage is dissolved, the feisty daughter is grown and going to college, the cherub boy drives away from me every day into his own adventures and I am left with a thankful heart. Thankful, because I know that little green blessings aren’t just in my past, but surround me, uplift me, and call to me from a hopeful future.
A sprig of mint struggles up through dried and yellowed ancestors to wave at me from my garden; a little green blessing buds for my tea cup. A postcard from a foreign land displays green and lush hills and whispers heartening words from a kindred spirit; good news breaks open a smile. A children’s book featuring leprechaun’s beckons to me from a book shelf; I tuck it in my arms, a gift for a future grandbaby.
I will always look for these emerald drops and it won’t be hard to find them. They crop up everywhere as gifts to brighten my journey.
“Oh thank you, Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you, for little green blessings.”