Our garden is growing without my help. I didn’t till the ground or plant the seed. I haven’t watered it or even looked at it very often. Frankly, I haven’t cared.
But my kids have.
It was Noelle’s idea. She’s nine years old and growing up far too fast. She helped my wife decide what to plant and has continued to show a great deal of concern for the garden’s growth.
Bradley, Jonathan, and Matthew (8, 7, and 7) have also been interested in the garden. While they haven’t worked as much on it as Noelle, they have at least been around when work was being done. It turns out that they all like to dig in the dirt.
Mary Hope has even gotten into the act. Well, as much as a three-year-old can get into the act. She has been there while work is being done; sometimes digging, sometimes sitting.
Their mommy and gramps (my dad) have worked in the garden with them. But not their daddy.
I’ve been at work. Or visiting people at the hospital. Or resting.
I simply don’t care about growing a garden.
But I do care about growing my children.
My children need me. They need to see me caring about what they care about. They need me to teach them lessons about hard work and perseverance. They need me to share laughs and stories with them as we unite around a common goal.
The garden will probably grow the way it is supposed to grow even if I am not involved with it.
My children will not.
They need me to care about their garden because they need to know that I care about them.
(Do you like to garden? In what ways to do show the people in your life that you care? Share away!)