If we looked at parenting like we were tending a garden, we would see many types of gardeners and gardens.
The trailing vine garden, where the gardener engages simply and consistently. Providing water and general provisions for growth and well being. The gardener also provides a structure for the vine to climb on as support as needed, but does not determine the path of the vine at all. There is no pruning. The vine finds its way through trial and error and thrives.
The Bonsai garden and gardener look at things differently. The branches are kept trimmed so as to confine growth for purpose. The general provisions for well being are given in structured, methodical ways. They are confined to porcelain dishes and moved in accordance to the light. There is simplicity in the clear boundaries. Bonsai trees thrive for hundreds of years.
Planting an acorn in a small pot. The gardener waters it, makes sure the general provisions for growth and wellbeing are done regularly. When it grows too large for the pot, the gardener simply plants it into the ground. Trusting mother nature to provide all it needs, the gardener considers the work done. The oak tree thrives.
Chosen to be in the garden for the vibrancy they will add. Geraniums are planted into the soil with room to grow roots. The gardener engages simply and consistently. Providing water and general provisions for growth and well being. If unwanted growth appears the gardener gently prunes it back. If support is needed, support is provided. This continues throughout the life of the gardener.
As a parent I would love to tell you that I tend my gardens like the geranium gardener all the time, but that would be a lie.
When we are all together and being social with other families I am a trailing vine gardener. When I am trying to have a conversation on the phone I am a Bonsai gardener. When a glass of wine with my friends is on the cards. I wish they were oak trees and mother nature had them.
What I do know for sure, is that for as long as the earth has spun. All sorts of gardens all over the world, tended by all sorts of gardens have thrived. As will our children. Let’s not aim to be anything, but ourselves and trust that we are fabulous gardeners.