I know this really wonderful mentor with seven children. She is a delightful and spunky woman who dedicates much of her time encouraging young mothers, or I should say mothers with young children - regardless of whether or not she is young. This encouragement is something I need in my life as a not-so-young-mother of three.

The topic of parenting is a fragile one for me to write about...because I know my own failings at it. There is a song by francesca battistelli and the lyrics say something like, "some days I feel like I can do anything, and other times I feel I've got nothing good to bring." I feel like the latter part sometimes, but I'm so encouraged by people who have been through the rearing stage and can offer some advice to the rest of us. Goodness, we have so many questions about bed-wetting, lieing, bullying, sassing, picky eaters, disobeyers, dawdlers and free spirits! And, if you're like me, I add ten years to the behavior and get really worried what life will be like with 15,16 and 17-year olds!!! (yes, that deserved three exclamations).

So, my friend the mentor, sent me an email and asked about my family. I saw her recently, but we didn't have a chance to catch up, so when I received her email I was excited to share about all the good news and not-as-good news. In her response she used the phrase, "children are like orchids in an onion patch," and I thought that was such a sweet way to put it.

I've always heard that orchids are hard to grow. They need the right kind of sunlight, not too much water and to be prepared to lose a few as you learn how to grow them. Well, I'm pretty sure we don't want to lose our little orchids to the onion patch of this world. Some days it seems like children are hard to grow...lack of sleep, non-existent free time, discipline over the same issues. Keeping this all in balance is quite a job, but what I'm learning from the wonderful moms I know...is if you mix in attention, pour on time and shower them with armfuls of love...they will know who they are and what they are worth...a priceless orchid, a beautiful treasure. Better get tending, not sure if I've mixed in enough attention today!

How do you tend to your Orchids?

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Tags: Children, Parenting

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