On Sunday I stepped outside to see the patio strewn with rose petals. My first reaction was to reprimand whoever took handfuls from the nearby rosebush and placed them there. There will be no more roses if you pick all the petals! was to be my first remark.
But then I thought of Miss Gail.
Gail and Eddie are the “work campers” who live on my parents’ land in Texas. While visiting there this spring, the girls frolicked around the flower beds, admiring all of the plants and flowers. The beds have always been my Dad’s pride and joy, so it is quite fitting that Gail was a horticulturalist and babys these beds to no end.
As I turned to see my girls pick some of the flowers, I jumped and then said, “Girls, why don’t we ask Miss Gail why it’s not good to pick the flowers in a garden?”
Gail smiled, and then with her South Carolina drawl said, “Now Miss Gail’s take on flowers and gardens is different than some. I say flowers are for enjoyin’, and so if you want to pick ’em, you pick ’em. I have friends who say, ‘You don’t touch a thing in my garden,’ but I say they are for enjoyin’, because just like life they are only here for a season, and then they’re gone. So pick ’em and enjoy ’em.”
I smiled and nearly cried, and then I hugged her and said, “Thank you, I’m going to remember that.”
And so on this day, I did. And rather than scold, I thanked our daughter for adorning our “grounds” with beauty. She was elated. “I did it for you because I wanted it to be beautiful,” she said.
Miss Gail was right. They’re only here for a season.
QUESTION: How can you enjoy your children more during this particular season in their lives?
CHALLENGE: Think of someone who has taught you something or changed your perspective about a particular aspect of mothering. Write them a quick note and thank them for their influence in your life.
Images provided by Kristi Linton.
Graphics by Julie Finlayson.