We planted a garden for the first time this year. Not a big one, but it is a perfect size for our first attempt. We lovingly plowed up a small plot of land in the yard (with a little help from my Dad), planted our seeds, watered and cared for them, and have enjoyed watching them grow.
While we are waiting and watching, I noticed a few friends posting pictures to social media of the bountiful harvest they are receiving from their gardens. Us? Not quiet so much.
This made me impatient. I was putting in the time. Why didn’t my harvest look like theirs? Of course I had to post my frustrations to Facebook and got some thoughtful comments from friends.
But this got me thinking. How often does my impatience get me into trouble in life? How often do I focus so much on what I think the end result is going to be (or that my experiences aren’t looking like those of others around me), that I miss so many wonderful parts of the process that I’m experiencing right now.
Parenting is like this. We all put in a lot of time and effort to raise our kids. We try our best – never quite knowing if what we are doing is right. Hoping for a sneak peek of the person our child will become, to let us know we’re moving in the right direction. And raising a child is more than just “planting a seed” and hoping for the best. We cultivate and grow them at every opportunity because we never know which moments will have a lasting impact on their lives.
Fast forward to today. About a week since I took the picture above. Our garden is still growing. Slow and steady. Especially the peas. Every day my kids run out excitedly to see what has grown and what they can bring in today. We may not have experienced an overflowing bounty (not yet anyway, I still am holding out hope), but we are making slow and steady progress. And it is bring us joy.
The garden has given me something good to think back on when the trials of parenting rear their head. When I question my parenting method, or how I’m doing. It is a good reminder to always keep at it. The small moments of teaching, love, and encouragement. You might not see a big harvest overnight, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening under the surface. Growing stronger and waiting to sprout and blossom at any moment.