Sunday Photo Fiction: Greenhouse Effect

Greenhouse Effect

“Look at his green dress!” Ava says, shoving the coloring book toward her grandma.

Her green dress,” Mary says, inspecting the leaves of a raspberry plant with knobby fingers.

I shoot my mother a look.

“What?” she asks. “Honestly, I don’t know what you think is so progressive about confusing your daughter.”

“It’s about the grammar,” I tell her. “But of course boys can wear dresses,” I tell Ava.

The past month has brought on a flurry new grammatical confusions. Irregular verbs like “ran” have suddenly transmogrified to  “runned” and gender pronouns are endlessly inverted. I’d already told my mother that Henry and I weren’t correcting Ava’s grammar. At this age, kids overregularize the rules, but they quickly figure it out on their own.

“Are we inside or outside?” Ava asks.

“Inside,” Mary says.

“A bit of both,” I say. “We’re in a greenhouse.”

“What’s that?”

“The glass walls let the sunshine in so the flowers can grow. More and more light gets trapped inside, bouncing off the walls, keeping the plants warm.”

Ava is thinking, never quite satisfied with an answer. I muss up her hair. My mother smiles at us, then smooths Ava’s hair back into place.

Photo via Sascha Darlington


This is a submission to Sunday Photo Fiction, a weekly challenge where writers post a story in 200 words or fewer in response to a photo prompt, shown above.

7 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction: Greenhouse Effect

  1. Sweet tale. Kid’s imagination and language is endlessly fascination. I try not to correct their grammer too much at the moment, let them express themselves in the early years. Well done.


  2. When my kids were younger they came up with all sorts of new English words as we spoke more than one language at home – its the basis of some lovely family memories now – there will be a time for correction later – love how you portrayed gentle nurturing here!


  3. It’s good to let kids explor, to have imagination and not be hemmed down by what’s politically correct. That will come later for now, let them be little 🙂


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