She learns each seed by heart, all similar yet none the same. “Take care, my little ones,” Miss Maple says, “for the world is big and you are small.”
~ Eliza Wheeler in Miss Maple’s Seeds
Children, it seems, bless and challenge us in equal measure.
Sometimes the challenge they present is the blessing. They force us to stretch and grow beyond what we think possible. They ask hard questions and deserve good answers. They haven’t yet to worry about judgment or shyness, so out they come with them. Each line of questioning like a queue of soldiers, observant and vigilant. Mom, where do ducks sleep? Mom, what’s an excavator? Mom, are pinecones seeds? Mom, is the baby sleeping?
Sometimes the blessing creates a new challenge. Their yearning for uninterrupted attention and approval calls us to feel drawn out when life demands our focus elsewhere.
These two measures intermingle. They are often interchangeable, just as readily as I am willing to reframe them when necessary.
The simplicity for children in having limited resources for all possible answers to their questions in and of itself is comforting. Parents, grandparents and a select few offer enough library to garner an acceptable answer to most 3 and 5-year-old questions. Of course, the google monster is a good back up when mom or dad’s knowledge gaps or falters. And, to learn with them again what you have already learned or learn with them anew that which you knew not, is a joy, a challenge and a blessing.
These days, the best days spent with the boys involve a hot cup of coffee, relaxed morning schedules and putzing around of the backyard variety.
The gigantic crimson maple in our backyard gave birth to 3 tiny seedlings this spring. They blew into our landscaping like tiny triumphant flags on mountainous crags of rock. I dare not move them lest I should undo what nature so impressively did. This discovery led us to search for what those crimson maple seeds looked like before they were planted. Then, what the oak tree seeds look like, as well.
There’s a beautiful book written and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler called Miss Maple’s Seeds. I pulled it out and we tried to locate as many seeds as could. Some we planted last weekend, peas, sunflowers, pumpkins. Some we found in our snack, one apple core out of the garbage later. And some, we found in the yard. It’s amazing what you can find on hand.
Yes, Jamison pinecones are like a seed. You just need to pull them apart to find the seeds hidden in the open spaces.
I ever so badly want to live in Miss Maple’s tree house or sail on one of her pink glowing rafts. And, then I would buy a brand new package of perfectly sharpened colored pencils and draw even more seeds with the boys.
We planted our own little garden last weekend. Some seeds, some plantings.
Yes Jamison, I see your spinach is “packed with vitamins” and your tomato plants of multiple varieties.
We finished planting everything just as it was starting to sprinkle. Take care little ones, for the world is big and you are small.
I never tire of watching them grow – the seeds, the boys – the blessings, the challenges.
I hope to be back with news of our newest little soon! One more week to go.
A happy Tuesday to you!