“Mom, Kathy says I waste too much time on my ‘Dahlia’. She fought with me for not going to the park with her today.” Alec said in a bewildered yet amused manner; seeking answers from his knowing mother.

I could not understand how to cheer up a 10-year old kid who was too busy shuffling through gardening magazines & journals. I ran my fingers through the dense, brown hair and tried to initiate a comforting conversation.

“Is Kathy not interested in your ‘Dahlia’? I believed she loves your gardening skills.” I tried to sound as soothing as possible.

“I don’t know. Maybe she likes going to the park more than Dahlia.” The deep, cold sigh was quite evident from Alec’s tone.

“Don’t be depressed son. Invite Kathy tomorrow evening & we will go the amusement park. Maybe you can talk to her then. Now go off to sleep, it’s quite late”, I said.

A faint smile ran across my face while switching off the light & watching Alec slipping inside the quilt. Childhood is so innocent. That’s all I could think.

Next morning I was surprised to see Alec waiting at breakfast table; all dressed up & ready for school.

“Hey! That’s a real surprise son! Are you fine?”

“Yes mom just got up a bit early.” And he flashed a thousand megawatt smile. After Alec left for school, I went to his room cleaning up. I was surprised to see a large poster hanging with “8-weeks Deadline” written in bold & cuttings from various magazines pasted on below it. The postings read:

  1. Humus-rich, well-drained soil in full sun
  2. Protect from the wind.
  3. Dedicated plot in rows
  4. Avoid  wrinkled or rotten  tubers
  5. No overwatering 
  6. Insert stakes
  7. Show Kathy

I don’t remember for how long I kept on staring to that poster. For some unknown reasons, few drops rolled down my cheeks. For the first time in life I felt a very different kind of joy, a fulfilling elation which completely engulfed me. I could not wait for the days to come to watch Alec living his ‘deadline.’

Almost 8-9 weeks have passed. I was unable to control my excitement as I collected the framed picture of Alec & Kathy in front the ‘Dahlia’ flowers. I had already planned to replace the ‘deadline’ poster with this frame. Alec would love this. Image


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