Maple seeds – you know the helicopter ones that are fun to throw up in the air and then watch them whirly twirl down to the ground. Well, this weekend, it was the wind having all the fun with the seeds on the maple trees that surround our yard.
Our lawn and driveway and that of our neighbor’s is literally covered with these seeds. And what’s so amazing to me is that these seeds flutter down with such purpose and intention. Their job is to embed their nose into the ground (which amazingly they accomplish) with hopes to grow and develop into a maple tree.
Every Spring we expect this cycle will occur and we watch and wait patiently (and very often impatiently) for it to end. We accept it, acknowledge it, knowing what needs to be done; sweeping at first, raking, and at last resorting to the big blower to finish off the job.
But a few seeds always manage to escape this fate – and instead snuggle into the ground against the fence – and begin to sprout – and become a seedling and develop leaves – with hopes to being like the big maple trees surrounding them.
Hmm – sound familiar?
Development and growth can often be messy.
From babyhood to toddlers to preschoolers to school-age, children go through so many developmental cycles and behaviors, both lovely and challenging. When we realize even the difficult ones are normal – that this is how our children develop and grow on their path to becoming adults, we can learn to expect them, understand them,accept them, work with them and help our children and us ease through them.
And as parents, that’s what we do – mostly. But sometimes, during our children’s challenging stages, we fret too much, take things too personally, compare, push, distrust – want to resort to the “blower” to stop the behavior immediately.
However, just as we can understand and appreciate the purpose and the promise of the maple seeds (in spite of their messiness) so it is with our children’s development.
We can embrace the challenges and the messiness of parenting as we trust, watch and nurture our children’s sprouting, growing, whirling and twirling, and developing into strong, mature human beings.