A week or so ago when the weather shot up to the 70′s, I brought my flats of seedlings out for some mild sunshine. But eventually the chilly evenings returned, and so I brought my “second children,” all 100+ of them, back in and laid them out on our dining room table for the evening.
They were still there the next morning when the boys awoke, and I told my oldest son that you could tell what kind of seeds they were by looking at their leaves.
“Do you think they would tell me what they are if I asked them?” he asked. For the sheer curiosity as to what he might say, I told him to go ahead and try.
“Hey, little plants,” he said. “Why don’t you come on out and tell me who you are.”
I realized later, however, was that I wasn’t correct in telling him that you could tell by looking at the leaves they had at the time, because they were just the seedling leaves, and many of them looked the same.
This has caused me some trouble recently, as I was in a hurry to start all of my seeds and mistakenly thought that I could just remember the order of over 200 cells that I filled.
But now things are starting to emerge, because the true leaves are arriving. It is amazing to me how a tiny Lacinato Kale seedling will look very much like its full-sized self – the deep green color, the tiny frilly edges. This is what it is meant to be, and nothing else.
Recently I have been encouraged by a book, Desperate,by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson, which talks about the challenges mothers of young children face. It has been a hard past few years in a number of ways, and sometimes it’s hard to know when it’s your fault as a mom or just the reality of having a husband in law school and three young kids and no family nearby. I read other blogs sometimes that are written by highly successful, seemingly energetic moms who are always looking for the next challenge, and I wonder if something is wrong with me when all I want to do at the end of the day is watch reality television.
But reading this book reminded me that all of us as mothers have our own unique giftings, and if we try to be other people’s vision of motherhood to our kids, we will end up exhausted and disappointed and lacking in our own vision.
I sometimes wonder if my problem is that I’ve failed to see what my true leaves are. I would never be upset with a Swiss chard seedling for not being a tomato, but in my own life, it can be so easy to see someone else and think that I need to be them.