Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The beauty of a "Dannylions"

Happy Tuesday!

First order of the day, I mean blog... how do I even narrow things down to a subject for a daily blog?
One of the main reasons there hasn't been a blog....

I think I'll start at the beginning.  Why dannylions... or is it dandelions?

I guess you could say that we take things one at a time, one day at a time.  We live at a different pace, in a different sort of way, you could go as far as to say on a different planet during some days.

At the age of one, not much would interest or keep my son focused.  I think back and it is a hard place to go.  I fill up with so much emotion that it is difficult to keep this first blog going.

I try to remember ... looking at him walking around the back yard, climbing anything he could climb, getting into anything that was able to be gotten into.  One teeny tiny detail that would forever change my life - he would do it all "one handed".  The other hand was always dedicated to a holding a dandelion.  He would stare and stare into this little yellow wonder and continue to go about his daily business of finding things that needed to be glued down or moved to a higher place.

His little chubby fingers would touch the yellow petals of the dandelion.  He would hold it up to his cheek and rub it ever so gently to "feel" the beauty of this yellow wonder.  Watching this was one of the most precious memories for me.  He would do this for years.

I also remember being in that moment looking at him, half smiling and all knowing that it was just a weed.  Sometimes chuckling, I would talk outl oud (to no one in particular) and say that it figures my kid would love a weed.  I would think sarcastically, why he would just ignore that huge bright orange fluorescent life size plastic toy in our back yard.  What great fun right?  Nope. Not my Danny.  That huge plastic toddler safe gross motor toy would have absolutely no attraction for him.  However, he could spot that one dandelion two yards up at the neighbors yard that he wanted.

Dandelions... the things that drive my husband a little crazy in the springtime.  The blooming of the yellow flowers that most people think of as a chore. To have a dandelion free yard requires patience and a strong back.  The roots are long and so tough that one needs a special tool to dig down and pull the main root.  Worse yet, when the dandelions turn into a seed flower in your own yard.  Neighbors frown upon this. It is just plain not Martha like.

As a small child, I have a few memories taking delight when the yellow dandelion flower would turn into a round seed fluff ball. There they waited, to be picked, wished upon and blown for the outdoor air to carry to the heavens where each and every wish would hopefully come true.

Prior to my son, I have never known anyone to love the yellow flower of a dandelion.  The name officially changed in our house from dandelions to dannylions.  His brothers would pick the yellow flowers and bring bouquets of "dannylions" to both Danny and myself.  I would run inside and put mine in a little plastic cup of water which would show my appreciation for their pickings.  It was they who named the flower dannylions - and we kept it!

During my lifetime I have come to appreciate the beauty of a dannylion.

A dannylion is so fragile, so beautiful when you take the time to look at the actual flower.  It transforms right before your eyes from a beautiful yellow flower to a miraculous lace like flower that is ready to grant wishes and give joy to someone if only for a moment.  On some days it may look like a weed, but if you take the time and study one, you may see it differently.  How each outer petal grows from one center and has a unique snowflake-like edge to each one.  The inner petals that come out from the center are so numerous you would think these would be very hearty flowers.  However, each petal is so small and fragile I wonder how the center part can hold so many?  I would imitate my son and spin the dannylions around in my hand using my fingers and and try to see his beauty.  It is with each petal that forms one flower.  

It means so much more to me than a weed.  It is a symbol of what my life would envelop.  I finally understand that this flower is more beautiful than the rarest flower in all the world.

What most people take no notice of, matters more to me than words could even say.  A dannylions.  A smile.  A simple kiss.  The word mommy.  Danny was medically diagnosed at the age of 23 months of having autism (severe).  This was when autism was 1 in every 10,000.  Today autism is 1 in every 91.  In addition, Danny was later medically diagnosed with having profound mental retardation.  My son shows me his inner beauty in different ways.  The most meaningful is that of the dannylions.

This is the first time I have ever explained in depth the true meaning of the word dannylions.  It is what my life has become.  This is our first blog and I hope you enjoy it.  If this may help just one person through writing this blog, to see that things that may appear as weeds in their life may just not be...

Written with love.

1 comment:

  1. How ironically BEAUTIFUL that your son would love dandelions....Most people look at dandelions in their lawn and see a flaw, something messing up their perfect lawns. In reality, dandelions are quite remarkable. They are completely edible and have medicinal properties....not to mention, the seed heads are the delight of young children...We have given them a label(weed)and cannot look beyond it to see the beauty that God created. Danny looked beyond the label...he saw the beauty...which is a lesson for us all!