“You're gonna be in trouble!” Zagreus crowed pointing at his sister.
“What’s going on here?!” They heard their Mother roar storming into the garden. Z gulped and took the reasonable action of treating his mother like a bear and raised his hands above his head to give him height. “Grrrr.”
Percy rolled her eyes, her eyes narrowed when she saw Mack covered in dirt. She was biting her shaking lip with tears beginning to form. Percy’s eyes drifted to her garden where there were pulled up plants and disrupted dirt and trod on flowers.
“Z, go inside.” She ordered quietly.
“I will talk to you later, Zagreus.” She growled. Percy snapped her fingers and pointed at the house. Z shoved his hands in his pockets and he stormed off. Percy placed a hand on her stomach feeling her child stirring. “I swear that boy will be the death of me.” She muttered.
She felt something tightly latch onto her leg. A warm wet face buried into her skirt.
“Mm sowowwy.” Mack managed to get out shakily through Percy’s skirt.
Percy knelt down awkwardly. “Hey, it’s okay, baby.”
That was her garden.
She needed to know what happened, but her daughter never did anything without reason, so blowing her top would be a terrible response and just make everything worse. And this was her daughter, it broke her heart to see her cry.
Percy held her daughter in her arms, stroking her hair as she let it all out.
“It’s going to be okay.” She crooned softly.
Slowly but surely, the sobs were fewer and further between. Mack sat back on the dirt with her eyes a red mess. She wiped snot that had begun to come down.
Percy scooted to the ground next to her daughter. “Wanna tell me what happened?”
Mack sniffled and gave her mother a nod.
Earlier that afternoon, Mack tried to sneak into the kitchen trying to be as quiet as possible. Considering she was a four year old, it really wasn’t all that quiet.
Momma’s birthday was coming up and she was going to make a better gift than Z. Mack stood on her tiptoes turning on water, she carried a heavy pot that sloshed water side to side with each step.
Mack had almost made it to the stove, her hand was almost there when someone pulled her back.
“What are you doing?” Z asked, turning her around. Mack huffed trying to wriggle her way out of his grasp. “I’m making Momma a gift.”
“No you're not.” Z began pushing her out, being two years older gave him an advantage. Mack planted her feet on the ground struggling to hold her place as Z pushed her out. Mack stuck out her arms blocking her from being pushed from the kitchen.
“I’m making Mom panna cotta. So scat!” Z grunted giving one final shove he pushed her out.
“Let me back in!
“You're too small to be cooking.” Z wagged his finger patronizingly at her. “You could hurt yourself you know!” He slammed the door locking it.
Mack grit her teeth kicking the door. She stormed up to her room stomping loudly. She jumped up and down madly hoping it caused the kitchen ceiling to shake and cause dust to fly. She jumped one last time and sat crossly on her floor.
She stared out her window and saw her Momma’s garden. She saw the vibrant petals and began to form an idea.
Mack bit her cheek. Momma never let anyone touch her garden, but this was for her…
Mack had her mind set. She walked with determination out onto the bright grass in her barefoot. She took in a deep breath smelling the variety. Momma always said something about One flower doesn't a garden make.
Momma once sat on her knees and clipped off a white camilla. “This is for you, sweet pea.” She said smiling.
Mack held the white flower in awe at the many petals spread out in full bloom. She welcomed the sweet smell.
“Do you remember what it means?”
Mack scrunched her nose in concentration. Momma always taught her flower language.
Her Momma laughed. She pulled her into a tight hug, Mack squealed in delight dropping the white flower. “It means you are adorable!”
Mack grinned. This would be the best gift ever! She summoned all the flower meanings she could.
She would get her a Calla lily, her Momma was pretty. Thyme; Momma was strong. Magnolia’s as well.
Mack pulled and pulled with all her strength to get the lilies and thyme. She pulled the lilies and fell backwards and got covered in dirt, but they came out! The thyme was a lot easier to pull up.
All that was left was a magnolia, Mack stepped lightly over flowers that were planted around the tree carefully trying not to bend them. She began climbing the tree. Her hands gripping the smooth bark as she slowly went up closer to the best bloom she could find.
She reached out for the best bloom. She came down smiling. She stuck her tongue out at Z who was staring at something in shock.
“I’m gonna have the best gift.” She crowed.
Z held up his hands in defense. “First off, no. Second,” He pointed at the garden. “Did you do this?”
Mack looked back at the garden, her eyes widened. She didn’t mean to do all that! Several plants were upturned from her trying to get lilies, several plants had been stepped on. Z started crowning triumphantly, and Mack started shaking when she heard Momma.
Mack told Percy the entire story. Percy sighed. Her anger had dulled and her daughter still looked upset. She loved her garden, but her daughter meant more to her than life. “It’s okay sweet pea.” She said.
“But I ruined the garden!” Mack wailed. "I'm gonna be a terrible older sister!"
Percy didn't know it was possible for her heart to sink any more. Percy took the girl in her arms again.
"No sweet pea." Percy said quietly placing her hands on her baby. "I think you'll be the best big sister." She felt a shift in her stomach. "I think the baby agrees." She took Mack's hand and placed it on her stomach. "Can you feel the baby kicking?"
Mack nodded looking at her stomach with fascination.
Percy smiled. "I think they agree."
She looked at some of the broken flowers. One of them was a yellow tulip. She picked it up and began placing it in her hair. “You remember this one, don’t you?”
Mack nodded, looking slightly less upset. “Sunshine.”
Percy went on her knees to look at her baby girl's face.“I love the fact that you tried making me such a thoughtful gift. But do you know what the best gift would be?”
“To see the sunshine in your smile.”