As parents, my husband and I strive to inculcate the value of perseverance. Of course there are times these lessons are easier said than done. Never was this so eloquently portrayed for me as in the story that unfolds next.
Our middle son, Tony, is three years old. He loves the outdoors. About the time that he had turned two, a co-worker gave me a beautiful card. It was a photo of a gorgeous flower and beneath it a message about never giving up. I shared that with my husband and family, but the photo especially with Tony since I knew he would appreciate the beauty of the flower. I have since summarized the message into the phrase “don’t give up, just find another way”.
This summer, I resigned from a career that I loved. It was a difficult decision to make, yet juggling motherhood with my work was doing neither one justice. I needed time to focus more intently on my three children.
One of the first summer projects with Tony was to plant seeds. With great joy we saw our successes sprout and took delight in caring for our little seedlings! One pot however, did nothing. We watered, we cared, we moved it around – nothing! Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months with no sign of the tiniest success. I quietly set the seeds aside in a dry container with a little bit of dirt and basically gave up on them.
In November, Tony and I decided to plant some indoor herbs so we could continue gardening during the winter months. The oregano herb looked especially beautiful! One Friday night, I vacuumed the kitchen completely and cleaned up the area where all our seedling and herb pots are. Early the next day I glanced in the direction of the pots and saw DIRT spilled over. Somewhat annoyed, I picked up a rag to clean up the soil … and there was the most beautiful surprise! In the oregano pot, were different shoots that had popped through the soil. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I gently tugged at the shoots and saw that they were firmly planted. Tony was mysteriously quiet about the whole event. On Sunday he woke up early with me. I asked him if he knew how that plant had gotten there. Looking up with his big brown eyes, he said “I know”, and then explained how he had taken the seeds that wouldn’t grow and placed them with the oregano because he thought “maybe if we try a different way it will work”. Tony then gave me a big bear hug and said “I’m happy it’s growing Mom. You always say not to give up – I am happy I didn’t.”
That experience re-taught me a very valuable lesson. We learn from what we see, so we must always live what we believe!
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