Earlier this summer, my youngest son was helping me run errands. He had behaved well and been so patient all morning. When he asked to purchase a small cactus in at the hardware store, I said, “Yes.” The cactus was in a small plastic pot and didn’t seem too dangerous, so I didn’t think twice about taking it home.
My six-year-old son proudly watered the cactus every other week and talked to it almost daily. I didn’t give it much attention until he placed it on the kitchen counter next to my Christmas cactus. I noticed his cactus was a bit pale and still had a tag hanging off it.
Upon closer inspection I made a prickly discovery. My sweet son’s cactus was a fake. It was made in China.
Now you might ask, “How in the world did you not know the cactus was a fake?”
Well, the answer is simple.
- It was for sale on a shelf with the succulents at a local, hardware store greenhouse.
- My son had lovingly watered and cared for it without noticing himself that it was plastic.
- The only cactus I had ever owned before was the Christmas cactus given to me by my amazing co-worker last year.
I should really have been angry at myself for not recognizing my son’s cactus was plastic, but instead of letting the shame stick with me, I let the story be one that my family can laugh about and share with others.
If you find yourself stuck with a fake cactus or another silly situation, don’t get fixated on your mistake or let your error eat at you. Find the funny in your faux pas. When we learn to let go of our mistakes, we can latch on to the successes in life more easily and move past the prickly parts.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I have finally convinced my son to stop watering the plastic cactus.
P.P.S. Always check you plants for “Made in China” labels on the stem before purchase.