These lovely trees tower over my house now, creating shade, beauty, a home for countless birds and big time curb appeal.
Of course, they did not grow up overnight! The year that we bought our house, I bought one tree for my son and one for my daughter. They were basically sticks in a pot back in 1992. My children were 4 and 8 the year we moved in and these trees were added to the landscape soon after.
When you look at them now (or at my grown up kids) it is hard to imagine their beginning.
So often, we look at the NOW of things and do not reflect on all it took to get to today. Or we try to rush to the future, to SOMEDAY and we forget to notice the magic along the way. These trees went through many seasons, just like our family did. They had rough winters, dry summers and got whacked by the weedwhacker now and then. There are scars in the trunk from where our kitty used to climb up and hide in the branches.
In their beauty, they are also messy. In early summer, they shed all their bark and leave a mess around the yard that has to be picked up and raked up on the regular. Sounds like kids in the home...leaving a mess, shedding their clothes, toys, and stuff on the regular and there goes mom and dad, picking it up. Sometimes there were so many toys strung out in the living room I wish I had a rake for inside to corral it all into a pile!
When people see the trees now, they have no idea it took them 26 years to get this big and this beautiful. Soon the flowers will start floating in the wind like confetti at a wedding and there will be snowdrifts of blossoms tracked into the house. It is one season in their life cycle...just as our time as parents has many seasons. First we are on duty 24/7 and our child depends on us for 100% of their survival. We blink and soon they are packing a backpack for kindergarten or college.
The "growing season" of children requires so much from parents. Between the diapers and the bedtime battles and the mountains of toys and laundry, it is hard to catch a moment to see how amazing this growing process is for all of us.
Take a moment today to just look at your children. Whether they are 5 months or 5 years or 35, you are and have been the most important person in their life. They grew with you through your challenges, your mistakes, the tough seasons and they survived. So did you! We are so busy helping them grow, sometimes we don't see all the ways WE have grown. Oh yeah, we notice the stretch marks, the fatigue and the circles under our eyes, but what about all the ways our hearts have grown since these little people entered our lives?
Have you ever loved anyone or anything as fiercely as you love your children? Your heart expands its capacity with every child you love. YOU are the best gift your child will ever have, through every season!