Dandelion bouquets won’t last forever

It’s that time of year again, when sunburst-yellow blossoms appear — and multiply — across our yards. Homeowners hate ‘em.

But kids? Well, kids love ‘em today as much as you and I did when we used to pick dandelions, too. I'll bet you not only picked the yellow blossoms, but their fuzzy spheres, right?

Remember holding them to our faces to make wishes? With one puff of childhood innocence, we sent them into the air — and probably into our own yards. Wasn't that a blast? Then we'd pick the tallest yellow buds we could find and ask our moms to put them into jars of water on the kitchen window sill.

I did that for my own kids. Those bouquets meant more to me than any fancy floral arrangements.

I miss those days.

Stephanie Myers can relate. She has a name for dandelion bouquets: “Mom flowers.”

“My kids used to pick them for me. I took pictures of them to scrapbook. I loved it when they brought me mom flowers!” Myers said.

She misses those days.

Judy Sprague’s five children not only picked dandelions, but buttercups.

“We lived in Spokane and the newspaper used to hold a contest to see who could turn in the first buttercup of the season. My kids were always going out right after the first snow melted. It would still be chilly but if they came in with a buttercup, they were just delighted! They thought that was good stuff,” said Sprague.

But that’s not all.

“The kids held them to their chins. If they got pollen on them it meant they liked a certain boy or girl,” she said.

As for dandelions, Sprague displayed them in tiny glass jars of water on her window sill. “After the first night the flowers closed up and they never opened again. I’d throw them away when the kids weren’t looking,” she chuckled.

Sprague thought back to the days when a child’s love was innocently displayed in dandelions and buttercups.

“When children are little, they step on your toes. When they get big, they step on your heart.”

“I miss those days,” Sprague reflected.

So if you still have little ones around, I wish a bazillion dandelions just for you — not in your yard, but on your window sill; for behind each sunburst-yellow blossom is a whole lot of love.

And someday, you’re gonna miss it.

Judy Halone ( is a member of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Copyright © 2007 by Judy Halone

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