The Broken Birdbath

The Broken Birdbath

“I broke the birdbath, I am sorry, it was an accident” my youngest stepson made his confession in a small quivery voice. His face was uplifted, ready to meet his fate, his shoulders were squared and his stance told me he was scared shitless because he knew that I loved that birdbath, but he was ready for whatever punishment he had coming. He was ready to accept the consequences for what happened. I could see that he had mustered up all the bravado he had and he came and told me he broke it.

My stepson was 9 years old when this happened. He is quite an amazing child. Highly intelligent, well-spoken and a natural charmer, he is well-liked by everyone and he has many talents yet to be discovered. However, at this point in time, the most impressive thing about him is his courage. He has courage because he is willing to take ownership of his life at 9 years old and I admire that intensely.

I just looked at him, and I asked him to show me. We walked over to the spot and there, on the ground was my beautiful turquoise ceramic birdbath all broken in pieces.

I’m not going to lie. I was upset. That birdbath was my favorite garden accessory! However, I kept my emotions hidden. It is my habit to make lemonade out of the lemons life throws my way. I am always preaching that to my kids too, so now it was my turn to choose how to respond and lead by example.

I said, “oh no! That makes me sad because I love that birdbath, but I want you to know that it’s okay and I am going to make it better than ever when I am done with it!" and I told him I was proud of him for taking ownership too!

That smile of relief was already making it better! He skipped off, happy as could be…and I took a better look at the damage, and wondered what had possessed me to say such a thing! "Better than ever???!!!" WHAT WAS I THINKING? 

The birdbath was broken in half and the rest was just pieces of broken pottery. It seemed unsalvageable.


I got an idea…

The broken pieces, I scattered around strategically adding some bright spots of color! And the rest of it, I turned it into a little planter, placed my favorite little trailing flowers (Bacopa), a few little succulents, and some pretty white rocks I had collected from the beach. I added a cute cactus rock my daughter Megan had painted years ago and Voila! Instant charming little planter :)


Today, it sits at the entrance to my front door looking totally adorable. Best of all…it is a constant reminder of a few of the best things in life…New Beginnings, Forgiveness, Taking ownership, Courage,  and Love

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