Monday, July 18, 2011

Pulling Weeds

So I often have "mommy guilt" over the fact that it seems like all I ever do is correct my children.  When I'm not correcting, I'm mostly moralizing (as in, someone (on TV, in a book, in real life, etc.) does something and so we discuss how that action was foolish or unkind or whatever...or the flip side - what they did was very kind, generous, wise, etc.).  Sometimes it's little things ("AJ, get your finger out of your nose.").  Sometimes it's not ("Joanna, stop eating Styrofoam/rocks/sticks/mulch/barrettes").  But it's a constant part of my day.  I feel like the other moms aren't constantly correcting their kids and I worry that I'm too hard on mine.

Today, while Lucy was sleeping and the bigger two were playing in the pool, I was working on this plant that is infesting our yard.  We have no idea what it is.  It is growing _through_ one of our trees (as in parasitically pretending to be branches on this tree - growing up between bark and trunk or in between rings) in addition to popping up EVERYWHERE in our yard.  It has a woody root and is VERY fast-growing, but the branches are more like a flower or tomato plant (non-woody and slightly furry).  If you happen to know what it is, feel free to let me know, but I'll warn you in advance about doing a Google search for anything that includes the words "weed" and "growing."

Not that I've done that. there are plenty of blogs out there that can and will take every experience and relate it to God somehow.  It's amazing sometimes, mostly because I doubt that the folks who write those blogs would speak that way normally, and since my writing style is very much conversational, I feel rather fake following suit.  That tends to lead me to assume that _they're_ being fake, but that's my own issue to deal with, not theirs. this story isn't like that.  I'm not telling you that _your_ life is like my lawn.  No.  This story isn't about you, it's about me.  And that's what makes it ok somehow for me to tell.  You see, as I was digging these plants out, getting as much of the root as I could in each instance (working with a broken shovel, which adds a whole new level to this metaphor), I really felt like God was telling me that this was my work - to root out those character flaws that are inherent to my children and to teach them the right way to go (morally, socially, fiscally, etc.).  It's a seemingly endless task of hard, hot, backbreaking work (especially given the broken tool that I have to work with (that would be myself in the metaphor)).  Every time it seems like I've gotten an area clear, I look up and see dozens more sprouting up.  Sometimes I almost miss one because it's hiding in the grass.  Sometimes the lawn gets mowed and it looks like they're gone for a while.  Sometimes the roots go straight down.  Sometimes they fan out just a few inches below the surface.  Sometimes the smallest plants come from the biggest roots and sometimes the biggest plants come from the smallest roots.

But just like I could never eradicate the weeds if I stopped weeding, I'll never "train up my children" without the correction.  And if I were to stop, even just for a time, those weeds would make WAY more headway than if I just battle them constantly and consistently.

So I'm letting go of that bit of "mommy guilt" today.  It may get tiring, but at least one of my jobs right now is to root out all those weeds just as soon as their ugly heads pop up in the little garden that we've been given.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Now I'm interested in that weed of yours. I'm a botany buff. Growing like that, it's almost certainly an invasive exotic in your area, and an internet search on invasive exotics or an email sent to a state ecologist or botanist may help--you may even be able to alert the officials that something nasty is in the area.

In case you're not a plant-geek too, identification will be easier if you can say whether the leaves are opposite each other on the stem or alternate, and if you can describe the structure of any flowers or fruit.

Good luck.