Planting a Child – by Cara
I must start off by confessing my guilt over the past five years.
Every Mother’s Day since the first Mother’s Day after my son was born, I have not wanted flowers. I have not wanted jewelry. I have not wanted dinner out at a fancy restaurant. I have not wanted anything but for someone to take my child away and care for him for as much of Mother’s Day as possible. That’s all. And for those of you who are gasping, I will explain.
From birth, my son has been probably the most challenging child ever born. And every day, for 364 days of the year, I would be the sleep deprived Mom of a highly energetic and creative baby and toddler. So, come Mother’s Day, all I would ask of my husband would be to take our son to visit his Grandmother, take him to a park, take him anywhere, but, please, take him out of the house for as long as possible! And my husband always obliged. I would relish those one days a year! I would mostly catch up on much needed sleep or read a book or check the 251 e-mails in my inbox. None of my friends ever understood. They would call to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day and ask what I would be doing for the day and I would reply, truthfully, “nothing.” I would then explain that I wanted a day of “nothing” for Mother’s Day. To fill up the pregnant pause that always came, I would quickly change the subject to find out what they would be doing and wish them a wonderful Mother’s Day.
Now, this year is going to be different. Quite different. Since my husband doesn’t like to spend much time in our home, on the weekends he takes our son to do various activities and spend downtime at his mother’s house. I don’t get to see much of my son many weekends, unless my husband is travelling or I have a specific event for my son and I to go to.
This year, I want my son all to myself for Mother’s Day!! For the past few weeks, we have been nurturing seedlings on our window sills into nice hardy plants that are ready for the outdoors! I also attended a plant sale at my son’s school, where I met my son and we picked out more beautiful plants! And, true to my son’s personality, he had to make an announcement to his entire class that I was there to pick out plants with him! He was so proud to have me there! I was gushing like a schoolgirl who had a crush! My son loves me and wanted everyone to know it!! My heart melted!
So this year, Mother’s Day is going to be a splended day of bonding with my son while planting flowers and vegetables! The weather is predicted to be pleasant, so I am looking forward to digging in the dirt with my son! And I know while we are digging, we will inevitably find an earthworm that my compassionate son will befriend and want to have live in the house with us. And he will name him “Wormy.” And I will be completely in the moment of being in the presence of my son, planting and talking about everything and nothing. And I will enjoy every second with my child! Just like nurturing the seedlings on our window sill, young ones need special care and tending to. And as they outgrow their containers, you have to take them from their safe environments and plant them somewhere else. Then you have to watch them grow! Grow bigger and stronger and able to take on the elements! They will still need tending to. But they must learn to continue growing on their own. And with a little luck, these plants will thrive under your care.
As much as I didn’t want to spend Mother’s Day with my son all these years, I must have done something right the other 364 days of the year! I tended to my son so carefully when he was young, at the expense of taking care of my own needs. And when my son was ready, I sent him out into the world to see how he would do, always in the background in case he needed tending to. But my son flourished! Now he is growing rapidly in every direction! He needs to be “pruned” a little now and then, but he is weathering his own elements. He knows I am always there to tend to him. But, day by day, I am letting him flourish in his own garden! He is still a young plant and needs me to care for him. But he is also showing me how he has been able to take on his own elements successfully!
I am so in love with and completely amazed at what good parenting can produce! The best complement he could have ever given me was to announce to his class that I was there to help him pick out plants! There were other parents at the plant sale. But, my son needed to let the world know that I was there for HIM!! I will ALWAYS be there for my son. We’ve come a long way in 6 1/2 years. But ,I love this child like crazy. And no matter how little time we sometimes get to spend with one another, I know how much we love each other.
I am anxious to see what type of plant my son does become! But, I’m not so anxious that I want the time we have together to fly by. I’m content to sit back, nurture, prune and watch my son slowly grow. And from now on, Mother’s Day is going to become, “Mommy and Me” day!! I don’t want flowers, nor jewelry, nor eating in a fancy restaurant. The only thing I want is my son. Just him and him alone. Along with some seedlings ready to plant throughout the day! And also finding a worm and naming him, “Wormy.”
I dedicate this blog to my incredible son! You are my moon, the sun and the stars above! I love you, Sweetheart!!