Lizabeth and her friends hid behind some bushes around Miss Lottie’s house, and Joey started throwing rocks at her marigolds. She looked around angrily at the borders of her ramshackle home. Suddenly, Lizabeth charged at her, childishly mocking and dancing around the old woman. Lizabeth felt like she needed to look cool and brave in front of her friends, but all she really cared about was destruction.
While lying awake in her bed, Lizabeth overheard her parents talking about their money problems. When she hears her dad start to cry, she is very confused about who her family has become, and how she fits into the whole picture. She feels very afraid, and decides to wake up Joey to tell him that she’s going out.
In her last act of childish destruction, Lizabeth furiously rips out every last one of Miss Lottie’s marigolds. Crying and crying about what she’d just done, Lizabeth looked up into Miss Lottie’s blank stare. At this moment, she left childhood behind and embraced the responsibilities of womanhood. Lizabeth felt awkward and ashamed, as she finally realized that Miss Lottie was just trying to bring beauty to her run down home.