Spring came early this year. My friends had already started their vegetable gardens. I got caught in the frenzy, ordered several packs of seeds with the group at the beginning of the year, and my friend Jana showed me how to start the seeding using a peat pellet. I soaked the peat pellets in water and watched them growing tall within minutes! Then I carefully buried a few seeds in each pellet, some “red meat” (a type of turnip), some pepper, and some flowering kale. I covered them with plastic container and put these little “green houses” by my window sill.
“Wait a couple of weeks, they’ll come out,” promised Jana. A couple of weeks went by, and nothing happened to the seeds I sown, but Jana’s seeds were sprouting already. Maybe my window side was too cold. I moved my green houses to the window that has plenty of sunshine during the day. Another week passed, still nothing came out. Not being able to see what’s going on “underground” made me anxious. I couldn’t help but digging out the seeds to check. Some of the seeds were swelling, starting to burst out of the skin. Feeling reassured, I put the seeds back and continued waiting. Finally my “red meat” broke ground! Once the sprout came out it seemed to grow taller every day. A few days later the pepper shot out a thin curly stem. But the flowering kale remained dormant. This seed required pre-chill before sowing. Instead of putting the seeds in the fridge I left them in the freezer for a couple of days. Could it be too cold for the seeds? All sorts of self doubts started to cloud my mind. But I curbed the urge to dig out the seeds again.
Patience, I told myself. Staring at the green houses on my window sill, I can’t help feeling a familiar emotion wash over me. The waiting, the longing, the anxiety of not knowing the progress, the self doubt, don’t we experience all of these when raising our children? As parents, we all hope our children grow up to be kind, caring, honest, respectful, and responsible citizens. We sow the seeds of love, respect, and responsibility through our words and actions. We hope those seeds will take roots in their heart and will eventually grow and flourish. It takes a long time to see the results, during which we will have plenty of self doubts but we try to detect the promising signs and we patiently trudge on.