Well, the picture is a little fuzzy because the boychild insisted he didn't want me to "show this face to the whole world on the web, Mom." However, he did want to show everyone the seeds he found inside a pod. He and Kate were exploring, rubber boots and adventuresome spirits and all, one afternoon last week. One thing we all love about the new house is the acre-sized yard. There was some wonderful, sunny fall weather when we first moved last October, but the winter seemed so cold (and wet) and muddy (<--more of the wet) and dreary (and wet) that we didn't do much outside. Now, with songbirds chirping before sunrise and Daylight Savings Time extending the evenings, we're doing some serious appreciating of our spot on earth. We're watching where we step, unless we have on our old boots, but we're sure having fun. James and Kate have been pulling on their rubber boots in the afternoons and trekking across the ditch at the back of the yard. We can call it a small creek when there's rain, but I suspect it'll be just a plain old ditch come summertime. Whatever you call it, the kids have found their place to explore.
The day they found the seeds in the picture, Kate had visited a history website after her Social Studies test at school. She came home determined to be a "history person" and "dig for stuff." With Indiana Jones in mind, I mentally dubbed her my "Illinois Garren." I'm still working on the name for James-- maybe "BackYard Jimmy" or "GumBoot Garren." Those seeds were the highlight of that afternoon. There will be more, I'm sure. The long pods come from one of the trees in the backyard, and there will be other treasures discovered in the ditch. Now would be the time for me to plant a few "fossils" or pieces of pottery for them to "find," but I suspect nothing contrived by me could outshine the childhood wonder of discovering muddy old mustard jars and pieces of lost toys that have already found their way to the ditch over time. That doesn't mean I won't try to plant some seeds of a sort, though.
You and I already know the seeds of ideas can be powerful. We all know the seeds we do and don't want to sow in our children's minds. For instance, I've always bought my kids books at the bookstore. . . one loves to read, the other one only loves to go to the bookstore and detests reading. I've always pointed out the intense colors in sunsets, always talked about the patterns and forms I see in nature. . .one is already a budding artist with skills far beyond what I could even begin to do at her age, the other responds to most "artistic" talk with a cursory "uh-huh, I see" and is only now at the point where he likes to draw football uniforms on his stick figures. I've always loved school and learning, always been excited to start the school day. . . both of my children think that enthusiasm makes me certifiably insane, and they remind me of it every single morning when I'm encouraging/prodding them to get dressed and get in the van so we can get to school on time. C'est la vie, right?
So, yeah, the seeds we sow for our children could be the subject of an entire volume. We all have our own chapters and themes. What I want to ask you right now is this. How much attention do you pay to the seeds you sow in your own mind? I'm not touting any wonder mantras or fads here. Skeptic that I am, I'm never totally convinced. . . but I have learned over the years that there is a grain of truth in the idea of positive thinking. If you are a skeptic like me, or if you can use yet another reminder couched in different words, then this is your non-denominational-bring-it-down-to-this-very-moment post.
What do you tell yourself when the alarm dings? Okay, what do you tell yourself that is printable/repeatable for the public? See? Lots of bad days have their start by our own hand-- telling ourselves it's going to be a crappy day before we've even made it downstairs to the coffeepot. What do you tell yourself when you're getting dressed? Do you say, "Hey, you're okay" or "Boy, I sure wish I had a new shirt/pants/shoes" or "Good start...now, let's get on with the day"? See? You can plant the seeds of personal dissatisfaction or motivation or happiness, all while standing in front of the mirror and brushing your teeth. What do you tell yourself when you become frustrated or bored at work? Do you grumble about finding a better job, or do you mentally press a "reset" button and try to start fresh? See? Maybe you do need a better job, or maybe you don't, but why take any particular moment and make yourself miserable wallowing in unhappiness?
You get the idea. Make yourself look at the seeds you sow. None of us can do that every moment of the day, but each of us can do it at least one time a day, can't we?
Happy Planting :)
**This message brought to you by the woman who sometimes feels she is keeping herself sane by writing these reminders to herself because she really has trouble keeping it all together in the real world some days. . . so, take it with a grain of salt, but take it, okay?