Forget-me-not mothering |

Forget-me-not mothering

I have so enjoyed watching the spring bulbs appear this year. It is amazing to me that a little bulb can produce such a wonderful creation with very simple yet consistent preparation. You dig a hole, plant the bulb, water occasionally, tend to garden weeds and year after year throughout its life the bulb produces flowering glory.

As I look at my garden, it reminds me of parenting. A child arrives into a family in different ways, through birth, adoption or foster care. As parents, we prepare the soil for their growth with great expectation and anticipation. Once the child is a part of our family, a great deal of tender loving care is required. We plant the seeds of love ” tenderness, empathy, kindness, and respect ” in our children’s hearts. We provide the nourishment they need physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We tend our garden carefully by hoeing and weeding out bad influences and any harm that may come their way.

I have the opportunity to work with many families and young people at YouthZone and observe the phenomenon of parenting over and over. This continued connection with families proves to me again and again that very simple, practical parenting tools can help our children blossom year after year with increasing beauty. I have also come to realize as a gardener and a parent that there are times when a person needs help. Regardless of how much we know or how hard we work to make our garden bloom, additional ideas and tools are always helpful. For this reason, I would like you to consider YouthZone your garden center where you can come for assistance and support when parenting becomes a task and not a pleasure.

In the middle of writing this article, I went to the Glenwood Springs Elementary School first-grade production titled “How Does Your Garden Grow.” I hope the message this production sent is as powerful to you as it was to me.

Everyone needs a chance to grow,

And blossom in the sun,

Each flower is a special gift,

As if there were only one.

And so it is with children too,

We’re counting on your care

We need your trust, your hope, your love

We need you to be there.

Every one is important to me

To make this a beautiful spot,

And every child is important you see,

Each one a “forget-me-not.”

I’m tall or I’m short, I’m soft or I’m loud,

I’m awfully stubborn, I’m sure!

But I’m special, unique, and quite lovable too,

I’m one of a kind … gee, I’m yours!

So feed me and love me, and teach me to read,

Make sure I eat vegetables, lots!

I’ll grow up to be a spectacular kid

For I’m a forget-me-not!

To all of you mothers, may you spend this Mother’s Day enjoying the beauty of your “forget-me-nots” and the fruits of your parenting!

Patty Schaffner is PALS mentoring director for YouthZone.

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