Thursday, May 04, 2006

Planting a Garden is Like Raising Kids

This week we planted our garden. As we planted three seeds every three inches to get one plant per foot, it struck me how similar gardening is to raising kids. You sow seeds, nurture them with water and manure (such as "If you sit that close to the T.V., you'll go blind.") And those seeds take root. But this analogy has been written about before. Songs and parables in the Bible compare farming and gardening to family life.

So I'll focus on the differences between parenting and gardening.

In gardens, you plant three seeds in hopes that one will take root. With kids, you tell them the same thing 1,000 times, knowing that they will never take your advice but hoping that they will at least understand why you gave it in 30 years, when they have children of their own.

When weeds grow in gardens, it's not your fault. And you simply pull them out. If anything goes wrong with your kids, you blame yourself, but can't solve the problem. Your child has to help. This is like depending on your tomato plant to uproot the dandelions.

Seed packets tell you the amount of sunlight and water, and the climate the plants need to grow. But with kids, you never know what is going to work until you try it: logical consequences, a long talk, a hug, grounding, reading them the riot act. Will they thrive in the face of challenges or a sea of opportunities? It's a guessing game.

In gardens, if you plant a carrot seed, you get a carrot. But with kids, you can plant a carrot seed and get a Venus flytrap. Or a plain ole bean seed and get a magic bean stalk. You can teach your son, for instance, that boxers are underpants and he will swear up and down that they are dress up attire. Or you can gripe to your kids about the rain and they'll say, "That's nice that it's raining because the flowers need a drink.

Or you can teach them how to spell real words and they'll insist on typing funny words and large sums of money.

Now Johnny would like to say a few words:



no go up fog see



Anonymous mary said...

your surprise in the front of your house really brightened up the place. Hope your garden grows!

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Ma said...

Hey, Johnny's a blogger! He said it all!!! He made a wish on my wishing shell that my sealed collection of huge Asian bugs would come alive and run all around our house. I made a wish that they would climb in his suitcase and go live at his house. Tonight he told me that a walking gecko was like Jesus because he is the only reptile or animal who can walk on water. Such an interesting child for a 5 y/o!!!!

7:28 PM  

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