Well into the second decade of mothering now, she still struggles to see evidence of the seeds she labors to plant.
She talks about compassion, then watches one child’s steely-hearted dismissal of a sibling’s sorrow.
She prays for their unselfish kindness, then hears today’s version of the dispute over the front seat.
She asks for gentle patience—offers them a glimpse into her own struggle—then loses count of the opportunities they take to bicker over petty annoyances.
It’s this part of parenting —
the unexpected, unrelenting, sometimes unwanted invitation to navigate the day-to-day;
the countless encounters with what looks like less-than-love;
the exhaustion of waiting-and-watching-and-wondering-and worrying over whether the seeds will sprout;
the hushing of a quiet question: “this seed-scattering, this watering, this careful tending of their souls’ soil: is it all for naught?”
Yes. It’s this part of parenting that digs deep, disturbs, discourages, drains.
And it’s this part of parenting that gives a shimmer to these words, each morning she chooses to remember, to hope:
Let us not lose heart and grow weary.
Let us not give up, or relax our courage.
For in due time,
at the appointed season,
we shall see those seeds
and into the day.