Shortly before the fugue state, my mother told K that she wanted to take us to the Botanical Gardens. Buffalo has a amazing domed greenhouse placed amongst its even more amazing Parks System, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the early 1900s. One time, when the kids were smaller, we took them sledding on the slope in front of the Garden. I remember K asking if we could go inside, and I sadly had to tell her we could not, since we didn’t have any money. Anyway, I forgot both these things, but she apparently did not.
So on Saturday morning, when she came into my bedroom and asked me what we were doing for the day, I was a little dismayed because I had made no plans. That is a difficult thing to do in the dead of winter in Buffalo- we can’t do any of our outdoorsy stuff that we do the rest of the year. I was thinking of “outdoors” when I mentioned the Botanical Gardens offhand, and she immediately wanted to go, reminding me that my mom was supposed to take us. I panicked, because I don’t have any “going to the Gardens” money, but K saved up some of hers for just such an occasion. I thought it was truly sweet of her, and I also appreciate that she would rather spend her money on an experience with her stepmother then on some Dollar Store crap like I would have when I was her age. I was very proud of her, and graciously accepted her offer.
We drove there and I could tell she was a little worried we wouldn’t get tickets because the website suggested you buy them online, and she, of course, does not have a debit card. It was pleasantly empty however, except for a baby shower happening in one of the greenhouses. When we arrived, the cashier looked to me for information and money, and was surprised when K stepped forward to ask for two tickets. She then handed us a flyer with nine flowers on it that were all pink. They were scattered about the gardens, and there was a special Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt for them. If you found them all, you won a prize! K and I spent the next 2 hours wandering around the greenhouses, looking for pink flowers. I showed her some of my favorite bits- like the koi pond, the corpse plants, and the Venus fly trap. She enjoyed all the fish, and the cactus room. And in the end, after half an hour of searching the Palm Room for a plant we walked by maybe six times, we completed the scavenger hunt! We went out to the cashier and told her, and she gave us stickers with pictures of the front of the Garden building. It was a little bit of a lame prize, but it was definitely a beautiful time. K went to look around the gift shop, and when we got back to the car she handed me a candle that she saw me admiring. Again, I, myself, at 13 years old, was far too selfish to think to do such kindness for my elders. My heart swelled once more.
This is pretty much just a K appreciation post, I guess. I wrote one about E once, so I guess K is definitely due for it. She is growing into such a lovely and special young woman, and I am very proud of her. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in the future.