Gardening and parenting

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As I worked in my yard this morning, I thought over how like parenting gardening can be.

My lawn isn’t that big, but it’s hard work. In some places the grass is so thick I have to almost lift the little mower over the mounds. And the weed eater? I can hardly lift my arms after dealing with that guy, plus the yard looks like a drunk monkey mowed it… But what can you do…?

Other spots are bald and in need or watering and nourishment. As the grass grows over the sprinkler heads, it chokes out the grass all around it, leaving bald patches.

What if I ignore it? The area becomes a jungle of chaos, misguided and rebellious.

The problem is my yard exhausts me. I can’t even mow and edge in the same day. It requires constant maintenance that cannot be accomplished all in one big work day. It’s a daily discipline.

Yet, when it blooms it is lovely and a place of peace and comfort.

The same is true of mothering. My children have areas of great giftedness and interests that, when left alone, can take over and choke out other places in their lives.

They also have bald patches that lack discipline. If left untended, these areas can spread and hurt their gifts and character.

Parenting, like gardening, is exhausting! It never ends. Even a momentary lapse can lead to weeds and bald spots in their sweet lives.

Sometimes I get tired, though. I look at other families and their lack off special needs issues, their presumed lack of struggles (i.e. weeds) and I grow jealous, which makes me even more weary.

So, for me I must take things one day at a time. One weed at a time. I must also keep my eyes off what I think others have that I don’t (IOW the old “grass is greener over there” thing).

Sometimes it seems as though I only accomplish a tiny bit, but the important part is perseverance. Spending daily time with my girls, loving them, talking with them, doing little tasks with them, that needs to be my focus. In doing this I will see them bloom.

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