Children are like plants, a metaphor all of us have heard before. Yes, they need nurturing and sustenance and love to grow and become strong and develop roots. One piece that is missing and that makes this metaphor almost too altruistic is that while every child needs soil and water and foundation and support, every child’s unique incredibility demands that those elements are different. Each and every child needs different soil, different water, different love. Because of this there is no book that can tell us how this parenting thing is done. There is no coffee table manual that will allow us to “grow the perfect rose”.
I have been struggling with my parenting lately, I have been lamenting about every mistake I may have made, about every decision hat was mine which trickled down and had an effect on my children. As parents we are the top, the boss woman, the head honcho and although we are mostly playing life day by day as best we can our children see us as these immortal, all knowing, beaming and majestic people who give them everything, show them everything and help them become everything they can be. So in this moment, when you read this, know that to your children this IS what you are. You are what they need, you know what they need and you can provide what they need.
I had a dream last night and when I awoke this morning I look over at my husband and told him that I spent the entire dream evening with different child psychologists and I have the answer. He looked at me and said “okay, what is it” expecting a half comedic reply but it was lacking comedy entirely. I said to him she is a plant and we have to submerge her roots in water right now. I don’t know what the water is a metaphor for, and I know that her roots are her being, who she is and was as a young child and is becoming as a pre-tween. I have lamented for months trying to determine what it is that is missing, what I am not seeing that she needs and now I see it and while I have no idea what IT is, I know that it is my job to find it, and to make sure I help her understand that while I was unable to help her obtain this thing right away that my promise to her is that I will always look. I will always fight for her and I will never stop because she is my baby rose bud and I am breath-taken by her beauty and by the incredible mind that is blooming in her and for the deep empathetic being that she is.
We do not raise, nurture and plant a tree in hopes of it always staying a sprout, we want, more than anything to watch that small tendril grow and push up through the soil, and fill the sky with its beauty and wonder. My children are no different, I want nothing more for them than to push up, feel secured and reach for anything and everything they want in this world. So for every parent out there who feels like they have read the books and water the plant and replenished the soil remember that it takes time, it takes patience and it takes a faith in yourself and in the incredible thing you are growing.
Your child’s school is an extension of you and your home. Be sure that you are choosing a school that will not just water for the sake of watering and that will not just follow some manual that has impossible directions to follow because it does not speak about your child. Make sure that your child’s school gives them what they need to be who they were meant to be.
I am a mother, not a wizard. I share what is hard, what is scary and what is real. The rest I leave to you.