a recycled but loved photo
it was one of those weeks where mothering and parenting seemed beyond me. i felt out of step at most moments. my mind has been on moving and the excitement of a house and a yard. i took the boys to a friend’s house and saw their little garden coming along. i’m eager to start something with the boys, even it if is just some herbs.
i read sally clarkson’s the mission of motherhood a ways back and have mostly positive things to say about it. i was flipping through the pages this morning and came across this passage:
Children do not accidentally become mature adults of strong character, great faith, gracious relational skills, effective leadership qualities, and sharp intellects. God’s design includes the presence of a hands-on gardener, a mother to tend and cultivate their hearts, souls, minds, and relationships. As a garden cannot flourish without a gardener, neither can a child reach his or her potential without someone committed to careful cultivation. Just as a garden without a gardener will eventually go to seed and be covered over with weeds and debris, a child whose growth is unsupervised or left to chance will likely grow wild and undisciplined or stunted and unfruitful. p142
i do realize that it is not just mothers who are cultivators but fathers and other family and friends and your community. but i approached the passage as an often weary mother of two who feels like much of her parenting can be reacting rather than cultivating.
nicole quoted an interesting passage from maria montessori on a child’s independence that has had me thinking the past few days. i mentioned to her that finding the balance between guiding and coddling your young child is often difficult. the gardening analogy is helping, i think. over-tending, over-watering is as detrimental as letting it run wild.
so perhaps mothering as gardener will help reorient my crazy self over the next few days.