“Guess what I found!”
My daughter had been out shopping, went to her favorite resale/vintage/old-stuff-a-palooza store and had texted me a picture of a yellow ceramic rubber-ducky-shaped vase.
“YES PLEASE!!!” I responded. It was one of those rare, feel-good parental moments when I thought, “Dang! I didn’t mess this kid up too badly.”
“Done!” was her reply.
I suppose a little back story is in order. My father was fascinated by ducks. He named his second to last boat Kvack after what the pet duck in the Hagar the Horrible comics said. My dad looked a bit like Hagar, and, like the cartoon Viking, Dad spent as much time on his boat as possible. Bonus! From behind, Kvack, a very beamy sailboat, looked a bit like a duck.
My dad’s last boat was made and bought in Hong Kong with plans for my parents to live-aboard. They wanted a name that sounded exotic and, with a nod to Kvack, they invented the name Kwakatu. (More proof that my parents will always be cooler than me.)
Over the years, the bathtub toy rubber ducky became a visual symbol of Dad’s love of ducks. When we were selecting flowers for Dad’s funeral, my brother found a rubber ducky styled vase for an arrangement that sat in a place of honor near his casket.
That vase now sits near Dad’s urn at my mother’s house.
And now I have a duplicate in mine, a gift from my resale-shop-loving daughter.
If You Give a Mom a Rubber Ducky Vase
(Many apologies to Laura Numeroff, author of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” and all the “If You Give” books)
If you give a mom a rubber ducky vase she’s going to want to honor it and its story by planting something in it.
But if you plant something in a vase, the water has nowhere to go and you kill the plant, so the mom will sit the vase on a table, empty, until she comes up with a solution.
Once she comes up with a solution the mom is going to need a plant, an inner pot and potting soil. To get a plant, an inner pot and potting soil, the mom must go to three different stores on three different days because she didn’t write any of that on her to-do list. A month later the mom will feel delighted to have remember three times that she needed a plant.
And potting soil.
When the mom acquires her supplies she will, eventually, remember to put “Make Planter” on her to do list. She will crunch a new, small pot into the rubber ducky vase, fill it with potting soil, and transplant ivy and impatiens into it. She will find the perfect spot on her porch to display her special planter and when she places it there, she will see that several other container plants need watering.
When the mom goes to fill the watering can she will see many garden things that need to be done. An hour later, the mom will have watered all the outdoor container plants, transplanted the spare impatiens and ivy to other pots, weeded a side garden, and deadheaded all her geraniums.
She will clean up the spilled potting soil and notice that she got dirt on her white sneakers.
After she sets out the freshly washed sneakers to dry, the mom will call her own mom to tell her about the special memorial container plant that is now sitting in a place of honor on her porch.