Isn't life funny, when you have kids? For instance, "Mommy, what if you met someone that had toes on the top of their foot and their foot was backwards?" So this in all reality would not be funny if I met someone with this deformity but as I am being asked this questions.... I sit there thinking what is going on in her head, thank goodness she is thinking, and I wish I had the time to think up stuff like this. My response is usually, "I guess I would offer to help them if they needed it and I would try not to stare." This is usually followed by all sorts of questions that have to deal with body parts in different positions along with a multitude of other questions that I can never answer.
Like just this morning, Julia said, "Are trees the most wonderfulest of God's creation?" And I responded that people were his greatest creation but trees were right up there at the top, which satisfied her and she went back to naming the trees she knows...like pears and red buds but at 5 everything is a question for her, she is soaking information in just like the trees are soaking up the water and absorbing facts and making opinions like the flowers absorb the sun.
We've been preparing our garden beds all month, cleaning them up, removing debris, loosening soil, and adding compost and manure. Now finally we are planting and watering, waiting for growth to happen.
It seems like we are always looking forward, rather it be for a baby crawling or teeth to come in, we are always looking ahead to new growth, new developments. Jacob constantly talks of how he can become a better fishermen, about how he will someday do it for a job, with nothing stopping him. He doesn't know if he wants to be a guide or a pro, work for game and fish, he just knows he wants to do it always.
Each of my children have started off as these small saplings, each dependent on my care, my nourishment, my time and constant guidance. They grow and thrive and learn.
My sweet Jett, is crawling on his knees and picking up pieces of food, going so much faster then I thought he would. He is this bright spot in my day, sweet and cuddly, tucking his head when he is greeted by strangers and throwing his arms out when greeted by love.
He makes us laugh when he sees this ball. He can be contently playing with his basket of toys and once he sees his ball, the excitement rolls through his body, his control momentarily ceases, then he barrels towards it like a long lost friend, grabbing it up, trying to get it to his mouth,luckily he greets me the same way too...now that is baby love.
Refreshing water, quenches your thirst, keeps little plants growing, is the key to having a successful garden. We water everyday, making sure our dirt is moist, our apple trees are getting the right amount, and hoping we remember to turn off the sprinkler so we don't flood our tomatoes. We use way to much water, everyone loves to be in control of the hose..on the off chance that you see a sibling walk by because they look hot and dirty, so they must need to be sprayed off and how can it not be fun to make dry dirt wet because mud is so much cooler. I have to confess, I love it when my kids come in dirty, with sweat rolling down their dirt stained cheeks, and caked mud and earth warm poo under fingernails. I love the transformation of a child that smells like play, jumping into the shower scrubbing and lathering up, slipping into pajamas, with the sweet smell of clean on them.
Jillian is growing out her roots in every direction, soaking in that refreshing water, digging down in that nutrient-rich dirt and thriving. She is growing, becoming this sweet, smart little 3 year old that is exploring more then I want her too. She is into to everything, in the past week we have found our bathroom smeared in lipstick, the carpet covered with baby powder, and the shower floor bubbled up with an emptied bottle of soap. To my surprise each time I have found these play-time messes, aggravation has not come over me, just a will deal with it later attitude of first we guide then we clean. I guess the 4th child has a more experienced mommy. When asked what she was doing, her response is, "Mommy, I love it, I love lipstick, and powder flying." Jill's response to cleaning up the mess, "Mommy, I don't love it," with her face scrunched up like she knows one of the older three are definitely going to run to her rescue or if she looks at me sad enough I will help her.
The great thing about growing anything is seeing the fruit and how great is it that even when your trees are little they can still produce these sweet, smelling flowers, these pieces of fruit that you didn't think they were capable of. We work so hard to till the ground, dig holes just the right size, mix in just the right amount of compost, and water daily. We look at our calloused hands, our sore back and dirty feet and we get a sense of pride that we are doing something good. Then bugs get on our trees, little holes start forming in leaves on our cucumbers, that's when the hard part starts, when the rain stops coming and the sun is to hot, when limbs need pruning and your hands are no longer just calloused they are bleeding. When you sit by that tree constantly watching for new healthy leaves, making sure the bugs are gone from your plants, that there is no rotting on the inside, pulling out the weeds that try to choke it and destroy it. Then one day you walk out and hanging on that tree is a piece of fruit...that is beauty, that is amazement.
John is growing and as I watch him turning from a little kid into a big kid, there are days where I am amazed with his kindness and willingness to help. I see the things we have taught him budding out and I see Jesus shining through him. John has found a new sport (which I will write about), he is mountain biking. When he first told us he wanted to do biking we were a little nervous that it would be like every other sport in John's life, it would come naturally to him, he would catch on easily and would not put a lot of effort into it. I know catching on quick and doing a sport great is what most parents want for their kids but when not a lot of effort is applied, when practice is put off, you don't see your child thriving like you think he should. So we prayed that John would find something he loved to do, that he was good at, we wanted him to set goals for himself and practice hard but enjoy it all at the same time. We have found it.
I often wonder how I do this gardening job of growing my kids, of protecting them from the things of this world that try to choke and infest them. It always comes back to my Heavenly Father's hand on them protecting them and His hand on me that is guiding me along. How hard it would be if God had his hand on just me and not Corey too, instead Corey is able to lead and guide us in the things that are right and holy. We may not always agree but when it comes to matters of the heart, right and wrong, and what is pleasing to God...we don't disagree because we desire for our trees to grow healthy and strong on the inside, spread beauty on the outside, soar in the beauty of the wind and bare much fruit.