Through the glass, I could see the delivery woman on the porch, barely. Her entire upper body was hidden by a magnificent vase of roses, all different in color and size. There were pinks and peaches and soft reds, glorious flowers, really, and chosen with an eye. I opened the door with the feeling of wonder and warmth that finds you when a gift is given, unexpectedly. But I caught myself after an instant, knowing I would not be receiving such a bouquet on Mother’s Day.
This has happened before, and it is okay. My gifts are my two daughters. I do not need stems in a vase. I have babysat more than a few collections of roses for neighbors who were not at home when the delivery lady rang the bell.
Before I had opened the door completely, she was nodding her head and twisting her face into the “I’m sorry, how embarrassing” expression.
“These are not for you, I’m afraid,” she said.
“I know, it’s not a problem. Are they out?”
“There was no answer and these are too gorgeous to sit on their step. Could you sign?”
The kids had come to the foyer to see. I placed them on the floor with the other plants.
“They’re not home next door, so we’ll bring them over later,” I said. Then, I told them about the Valentines Day a few years ago when I got to enjoy a vase of peonies for an entire day, truly thinking they were mine. There was no card attached, and they were left on the porch. I love peonies, so someone had remembered. An admirer too shy to write a note. These went straight into the living room. Until, of course, the guy from next door showed up and said they were his, feeling bad.
So, off they went, the guy and my peonies, down the front path and onto the sidewalk. Pink and ruffly, pretty, even through the glass.