It’s spring here, and the warmer weather is tentatively tiptoeing into the area. The trees are blooming (hello pollen!) and the flowers are starting to put out tight little buds. Spring is here.
I spent a good part of my Saturday doing spring clean up in the yard. I stood there contemplating the ever-spreading problem patch of weeds, and I wanted to grab a blow torch and just go at it. I’m pretty sure it’s crabgrass. IN my flower bed. It has to be the most tenacious stuff I’ve ever met, and that’s even counting the oenothera debacle (evening primrose) that required sifting the soil for root fragments.
I hate invasive plants in my garden. I’ve tried weeding, soil sifting, hand digging this mess – even chemicals. Nothing works. The roots go deeper and further than I can even dig with a shovel. It’s some nasty stuff. It turns my front flower bed into a weedy, disgusting mess in less than a week. I don’t have time for that.
I have to laugh: compare this weed to my barely-holding-on-to-life black diamond crepe myrtles, or my die-and-give-up-every-season gaura. Plants I WANT to live – plants I take good care of – are dying off. But this weed just won’t give up.
I want my kids to be like this weed. Deep roots, strong stems, and a willingness to keep trying. Right now my kids resemble my Gaura more than the weed: “it’s too hard!” and they give up.
I’m sitting here plotting about weed-preventative fabric, and thinking that we sometimes do the same thing to our kids. We stunt their growth, because no one wants to see their kids get hurt. Here’s the thing: I became the person I am because of adversity. Drought sends the roots down deep, not frequent watering.
I want to run the fine line of supporting my kids and helping them develop that tenacity and persistence. It’s a tough gig, this parenting thing. But it’s essential. Our kids need to grow up resilient and strong so that they can weather the culling that is adulthood.
If they can just keep growing, keep becoming themselves, then they will be strong like the weed. They will be sure and secure in their own skin. The weed doesn’t care if I like it – it just wants to keep growing.
I’m still going to kill that weed off. Even if I admire its tenacity, it’s going to die a horrible, weedy kind of death.
In case you think I’m a horrible gardener, I should state that the majority of the flowerbed is doing just fine. Really, it is!