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Signs of sprouting

June 17, 2011

Gardening is one of those things I romanticize, underestimating the labor and skill necessary to produce. I have failed miserably at successfully sowing seeds this year. Even a kiddy version of Growums, only requiring me to shove a seed into a preformed soil bundle, failed to sprout. I think I have used over 500grams of seeds to no avail… until today!!! As a last ditch effort, a few days ago I sowed my final 10 Cilantro seeds in a little pot and put them in my kitchen. And I see little tiny stems sticking up from the soil! Amazing.

Similarly, parenting is one of those things not to underestimate. Labor and skill are required if we are to produce anything of value. Often, there are long stretches where I wonder if my children absorb anything I say. And then, in happy bursts of surprise, they sprout.

Signs of sprouting this week:

1. My husband took our five year old to the park and she involved him in an elaborate game of war, spies, and survival. Where are you? asked a Mother wandering into their play cave beneath a slide. Afghanistan, Sophie replied. To which the visiting Mother says, oh, well, I’ve always wanted to go to Egypt. Can we go there? Yeah, there are pyramids there so that’s cool, my little global girl responds. How about China? says husband. No, too far away. Alaska? says a boy leaning over the railing. Too cold, Sophie counters.

Ah, well, her mind has traveled far and her five year old thoughts are not too Ameri-centric. I am pleased, for one of my values is that I would raise globally-minded children with a sense of others living in other places with other stories to discover. A sprout of the world.

2. My 11 year old is in an enrichment class through our school district and is learning about budgeting, investing, taxes, saving, etc. It’s a game of sorts, applying real world math, and he loves it. Today he came home dismayed that his friend wouldn’t give to charity. He had designated a huge amount to some children’s charity he heard about on Minute to Win It! I, of course, advocated for my own charity and got a small percentage too.

What I love is that he has a sense of giving! I don’t care that his charity of choice came from a game show recommendation or that he gave a ridiculous amount of his earnings. I care that somewhere in his little heart he has made room for others. A sprout of mercy.

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