Wednesday, February 9, 2011


When we first moved into this house, Olivia was only a little over a month old. We moved all of our belongings here, in the back of a U-haul. David and my Dad unloaded the whole thing. I thought my Dad was going to have a cardiac arrest. I couldn't help very much, as I had to have a C-section when I had Olivia, so I was still recovering.

I watched in horror, as the boxes just piled up. I had no idea we had so much stuff. It was a sea of mess, in each and every room, and I had this tiny baby who I had to care for, and nurse constantly, so it became quickly overwhelming for me. I wanted to have my house all set up, and just concentrate on the baby, and I had no idea how everything was going to get unpacked. It was a lot. On top of moving to a place where we didn't know a soul. And did I mention the newborn? Never have a baby, and move to a strange place, ever. Ever.

David had to do most of the errands in those early days of our family. He went to Target one day, because we needed a toilet paper holder, and a garbage can. I remember being very anxious about him being the one to pick these items up. I didn't think he would do a good job, and this was, after all, our first house, so I wanted everything to be perfect. And wouldn't you know...he came home with exactly what I would have chosen. I was thrilled. He looked relieved. I was so hormonal and suffering from such post partum yuck, and I think he knew if the choices were not quite right, he would have seen me reduced to tears in a matter of minutes.

He also came home with an orchid. It was in full bloom. It was purple. It was lovely. I put it on the mantel. I felt like a grown up. I had a house, and a husband, and a baby. All within a year. And now, an orchid. I had officially grown up.

The orchid's blooms slowly faded. They dried up and fell off. The long, sleek, delicate stem turned brown, and became a stick. I watered it, here and there, and finally, moved it onto the bookshelves. It remained there for years. Never dying, never blooming, just there. Big, green, waxy leaves, that some days, required dusting. I thought it was a dud of a plant. I wondered why it never bloomed again. David and I used to bicker about the orchid. He wanted to toss it constantly. Yet I had faith in it. I thought, if it bloomed once, it had the potential to do it again.

It literally sat, for years. Until a few years ago. We put a wrap around deck on our house. That Spring, I put all of our house plants outside to dust them off, and water them, and live outside in the abundant sunshine. I overlooked the orchid at first, but then thought, why not. I put it on the ledge of the deck.

And slowly, I watched it happen. It sprouted a new leaf right away. And then, some more roots, and then, a stem began to emerge. It grew every day. I swear you could hear it growing. And then one day, there was a bud. The girls were so excited every day. They couldn't wait to see what the flower would look like. I told them that the orchid is such a beautiful, intricate flower. I told them how shocked they would be by it's beauty. They wouldn't be able to believe that nature could even come up with something like this.

We were all stunned. Most of all, David. He couldn't believe that after years of nothing, here was something. It was something. It lived all summer, and into the fall. And when the Fall came, I took it inside, and put it on the glass shelf, beneath my kitchen window, and there it has bloomed, year after year. This year it has bloomed twice.

 And as I write this, there is a long, sleek stem, and on it are seven buds, poised to open.


  1. I love you so much Erin. Through everything you always find a way to make me smile. The best day of my life was the day that I first saw you at The Blue Parrot. You were so beautiful. You continue to become more beautiful everyday. Thank you for being my wife and friend.

  2. I love this story. We have a christmas cactus a friend gave us when Edie was born. It has never bloomed, but this year it got moved across the room to less light and has been blooming since December!