My garden…

ImageLast year, we pulled the most beautiful zucchini out of our garden.  Beautiful and huge.  And far too many for our family alone to eat.  In fact, we had so many?? … that we dubbed 2 of them the “twins” and took to carrying them around in preparation for the birth of twin cousins we were looking forward to… 

I love to watch my husband work in our garden.  

Night after wintery night, he maps out his garden.  Maps out and plans where to plant the varieties.  Ordering his chosen seeds well before he could even dream of planting them.  Then my husband starts to prep the ground.  Tilling… and tilling… then tilling it again.. Just when I think he must be bored beyond imagination… with tilling… he is finally ready to plant.  So.. he carefully paces out the rows.  He paints the row markers.  And then it begins… We follow the directions on each little packet.. 12″ apart… 1/4″ deep…. plant in rows… plant in hills… build trellis…. Each little seed gets its own specialized growing conditions… 

And then we wait for them to grow…

Water daily… plant in full sun… fertilize… water….

Then wait….

My husband is so sweet those first weeks… when he walks his carefully marked garden looking for signs of life…. The joy from those first sprouts?  Beautiful to behold….

And then the weeds start to grow… 

Weeds are unimaginably horrid things… they grow where nothing else can grow… And grow well… Soon?!?  Soon tall, healthy looking weeds tower over those tiny little sprouts struggling to grow.  

And we begin to pull them… On hand and knee, we pull each weed from the base… hoping to get the whole root system with it so that it won’t resurface.  After an hour?  After an hour.. we start to simply grab handfuls of weeds and pull… not caring about the whole root…

After weeks and weeks of fruitless weeding… Days and days of weeding ..only to see the same weeds resurface again and again…?  We buy a bottle of professional weed killing spray…. 

Then we turn our attention back to the care of our plants.. My husband makes sure they are watered when it doesn’t rain… builds supports where needed… 

Over and over… day after day… 

Until harvest…. 

Sometimes we find that no matter how much work we put into a crop.. they turn out deformed.. or small in size… And sometimes they don’t grow at all… 

Now deformed fruit.. is fruit that looks DIFFERENT from the typical crop… our curved neck squash?  It never “curved”… But most of the time.. deformed fruit tastes just as sweet… It is harder to show it off to your friends or brag it up… but it is just as enjoyable… Small fruit is the same… 

But our zucchini?  Those were something to behold… Showing pictures of a beautiful zucchini over a foot long?  That is easily brag-able.  To have such obvious evidence of ALL your hard work?  

Truly satisfying….

Sometimes I feel like parenting is like gardening… 

We carefully plan the size of our garden on cold wintery nights…. Order all the supplies we will need WELL before we will ever need them… Talking about the special instructions we think we will need to follow… 

Then we wait… Wait and see what God has given us to grow.

Sometimes we don’t get what we expect .. Boy versus a girl.. artist versus an athlete… Or TWINS…. 

Sometimes we get deformed crops.. disabilities we hadn’t planned for… disorders we have to read up on… But these crops tend to be the sweetest… but they are harder to brag up…

NOW.. I said “harder” to brag up.. not impossible… my son has Autism.. and a splash of Mood disorder… and I brag him up all the time… Just takes a different audience… And my son definitely has his own fan club…

But still you water them… you give them plenty of sunlight (praise and love)… you build a “trellis” if you need to give them extra support… and fertilize them (My son cleans me out of “fertilizer” daily)…. and then there is nothing to do but pull the weeds that spring up…. 

Those weeds?  Those weeds are everywhere… weeds grow by your “prize” kids… they grow by your “average” kids.. and they grow by the “hard to brag on” kids… Weeds grow EVERYWHERE… Honestly???  Honestly sometimes I would prefer to pull crabgrass and Canadian thistles.. when you compare them to bad attitudes, rolling eyes, bad words, exasperated sighs, bad grades, aggression, irritating habits.. or medical issues.. (or heaven help us drugs and alcohol)… But if you don’t pull those weeds?  Then pretty soon they over run your kids.. and your garden!  Just like your crops.. your kids will still continue to grow with the “weeds” stealing their sunlight… but they won’t be as strong.. and you won’t want to show them off to your friends and family.  

I know.. I know.. kids don’t actually need sunlight to grow..  But when a child’s most obvious traits are bad habits.. snotty phrases.. stubborn silence… That child may as well be covered in weeds.. It is harder to smile warmly (at least genuinely) at a child covered in bad habits… It is harder to hug a child who is stiff with resentment… It is harder to shower pride on a low achiever… So in effect?? YUP.. those weeds steal the sunlight in your child’s life..

So at the end of the day.. when I am exhausted… and my daughter shows signs of “sassafrass tree” growing on her roots… I can chose to ignore it this once.. to save my energy.. hoping it will go away.. or I can choose to pull it up by its base… and watch carefully for signs of its return… 

And I really don’t want anything to steal my daughter’s sunlight.. 

3 thoughts on “My garden…”

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