Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...

How does your garden grow?

This nursery rhyme has been going through my mind this summer.

I don't think it is a big secret that we had kind of a rough summer.  One of our children was just a lot more challenging this summer than he/she has been before.

All I had planned (lots of organizing, some book reading, etc) went out the window as I found myself immersed in parenting books looking for any suggestions to help.

Between reading and putting things into practice...

There went my summer.

Toward the end of the summer I met with a lady I somewhat knew.  She actually studied under the author of one my parenting books.  (If you have adopted, I HIGHLY recommend "The Connected Child" by Karyn Purvis)

My friend J spent a couple hours listening to me, offering me advice, giving me perspective.

I needed that.

Too bad I hadn't met with her at the beginning of the summer. :)

One of the things I said to J though was "I have been parenting for a long time. It has worked well for two of them, fairly well for a third. Why is it not working here? Why can't this child just be normal like other kids?"

Because you know other kids look SOOOO much more normal than your own.

Or at least for me they do.

My friend J shared an analogy with me, thus the title of this post.

"You go to a store to buy some plants. Some plants are garden variety. You can just water them, give them sunlight, but you don't have to do anything special. They will just grow.  Others are specialty plants. They require special care to grow and blossom."


So true.

My typical parenting worked for my kids.  Most of them.

But for one of mine (and really, probably some for another one), special care and special parenting methods were needed.

That week changes were made.

And while we still have some work ahead of us (and don't we always as parents?), we are seeing that the changes were needed.

Don't get me wrong.  It has been just as much a time of growth for me as it has for the child.  Probably more.

I have had to rethink.  Redo.  Commit more time and energy than I was before.

And unfortunately, it feels like much of the world must be growing the garden variety.  And there is often a judgment against those specialty plants and their parents.  Sad but true.

I thought years ago, we had planted those garden variety kids.  In our minds, our ideals, our dreams, they are.  They will be easy, require basic care, and will just flourish.

Yet somehow I had a specialty plant or two planted in my garden.

And like any true gardener, we will give the care and attention required be our little blossoms to help them to grow.

PS Thankfully our kids thrive much better than plants in our house; I have a black thumb :)

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