Sunday, August 9, 2009

My Lovely Ladies

Everyone knows that nurturing a garden is far easier than nurturing children, or children that are clamoring to be adults, anyway. Put a plant in soil and usually it will just grow. There are no subtleties, no nuances, few worries and almost certain success for both the gardener and the plant.

Children, on the other hand, on first blush, seem easy. They are sweet and beautiful to look at. They love you unconditionally. But then over time, complexities evolve. Keeping them safe. Guiding them to do right and make healthy choices. Protecting them from overzealous teachers and other authoritarians. Letting out the leash only to have to reel it back in. Being their friend and then abruptly turning authority figure and jailer. Hypocrisy. Anger. Frustration. Betrayal. Conflict. Disappointment.

And yet incredibly, none of it matters in the main. The sweet smile, the one you've recognized since the moment you first held them, melts your soul. The fierce love that you have for them cripples any attempt to remain angry. There's no flower in the world to compete.

Maybe instead, I can find some parental wisdom to draw upon in the soil. There, perhaps, in the dirt is the grit, the determination and all the micro-ingredients for the infinite worries and precautions that it takes to master the art and science of planting a child on this earth.

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