Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tales of an Impatient Gardener: A Prelude to Parenting {and Teaching}




Blooms A-Plenty

Yesterday, I was out of town and had the chance to purchase some new blooms for my garden!  I adore gardening, and have for some time.  I had a mere 20 minutes to make quick-work of finding a few flowers that struck my fancy.  I did it, but wanted to spend much more time perusing the blossoms and finding just the right mix for my garden this year.  I found some things with which to get started, but I dream of lush splashes of color all over my yard! (Little known fact: I am a Master Gardener and Junior Master Gardener Trainer.  My husband signed me up for the class as a surprise when my kids were very young.  Thanks, hubs!) 

Patience


Image: Microsoft Office


Growing a GREAT garden takes time.  Gardeners know it takes patience.   It is not accomplished in one growing season, or even three or four.  It is a thing to be cultivated, over time.  Some gardeners work decades on their gardens.  It is a work of heart.  So, too, is parenting. 

Not in Our Time

Image: Microsoft Office

Okay, so back to my new "buds".  My eldest helped me load in my bounty, and off we headed for our 3-hour tour home. (You do know that I live in the middle of nowhere! 'Tis true!)  We unloaded, and I looked forward to waking up and "digging in".  This was not to be, however.  With temperatures plummeting into the low 40's and a damp, drizzly day , I was actually forced to move my flowers onto my front porch.  (Our weather just will not cooperate this year.  Know any kids like that?)

I want to plant.  The weather won't allow it.  I have to be smart and wait, or risk losing all of my beautiful bounty.  I'll wait until the temperatures rise and the sun comes out again.  And I know the day will come.

The calendar says June 2nd, and I SHOULD be able to plant now.  But I must wait.  And practice self-regulation.  It hardly seems fair, but it is what I have to work with.  Again, just like parenting, we must work with what we have at any given time...sunshine, clouds or storms.  All are part of it.

The Gardening/Parenting Connection



Image: Microsoft Office
  
So what does all of this have to do with parenting?  Bunches, if you ask me. 

Gardening can be frustrating.  We must wait for the most opportune time to plant things and nurture and care for them in time-consuming ways during the most vulnerable of times. (When a frost is coming, if inclement weather threatens tender blossoms, etc.)  This isn't always convenient for us, or the way we planned it to be.  We cannot rush it.  We cannot change it.  Sometimes we just have to wait things out.

In parenting, we must wait for just the perfect time to teach, guide and inform.  Rarely is this in the middle of the maelstorm or challenging time.  The storm must pass before we plant seeds that will take root, lest they be washed away or water-logged.  Even so, we may have to plant the same seeds over and over again.  Maybe we didn't plant the last several seeds deep enough, didn't provide enough water, or didn't plant them in just the right place with the proper amount of sun exposure.  When you want blooms, you are persistent.  You try to figure out how to tweak things the next time, so that maybe...just maybe...the seeds will take root and bloom. 

If that isn't a lot like parenting, I'm not sure what is. 

(One day, I shall plant those flowers that are sitting on my porch right now.  I know they will be glorious!  I'll show you when they've reached their peak of perfection!  In the meantime, the next post will show you how they look on my porch, with a sneak peek at the very chair in which I spent countless hours talking about and writing Bloom, the book.)

Yours in patience, my fellow "gardener"!


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