Last week, my 14 year old went to a street fair. He had one mission: to find a Mother’s Day gift. He returned, carrying a plastic bag. I was lying in the backyard on the hammock, half asleep when he placed it on my stomach.

“Mom, I got you a present, but I have to give it to you now.” As I felt the bag, I thought that he’d brought me fresh vegetables. I could smell earth. “They’re flowers.”

He has watched me over the years planting and gardening. Pouring over seed catalogs, and pointing out lovely specimens in garden centers and botanical gardens. He beamed a little with pride in the moment, as it dawned on me that the bag he’d brought carried flower bulbs. Unique day lilies: “All American Chief”, and “Life’s Simple Pleasures”, varieties that produce large and colorful spectacular flowers.

“For an Alice in Wonderland type of garden”, he said. Then I beamed with pride and a feeling that he understood me. He explained that when he told the vendor he was buying bulbs as a gift for his mom, she gave him the second variety.

We planted them together, beside a screen of muscadine vines where they’ll catch the morning sun and enjoy the afternoon shade.