Mother's Day Garden Rescue

At 5 a.m. this morning, I felt a cold breeze brush across my forehead from the window above me. Immediately I remembered we didn’t cover the tomatoes. Or the squash. Or the basil. Or any of the fragile life tender green and growing. Growing because we planted it and because we watered it and because we want it to feed us and because our family has spent countless hours prepping soil, dragging water, and watching the weather closer than the Weather Channel. 

There have been five other nights that we remembered to cover the plants in preparation for a coming storm or freeze. We’d already been up in the middle of the night rushing to protect it all as the winds whipped at us. We had found every last bucket and canister and jar that would cover our precious starts. Most of our work felt in vain because we hadn’t had a frost or a wild storm actually do enough damage for the shelters to make a difference...

Truth -- I was frustrated because we had covered all the plants the night before and there wasn’t a freeze. Now the yard was littered with the flotsam and jetsam we’d used as miniature shelters. I didn’t want to do it all again, and just like the night before, there was a freeze warning, but the temperature wasn’t going to dip that low, I was sure of it. I didn’t want to spend the time on this again.

But the breeze blowing through the window was too cold. I threw on some clothes, grabbed a jacket, and slipped on some Chacos. The cars were already covered in frost and I could see it forming on the roof. I had to act fast. I ran around gathering all the canisters that were everywhere. I grabbed tarps and sheets and started gently tending to each plant. In the dark, I shook the heavy dew off of giant squash leaves and tiny basil plants that was getting ready to freeze. I blew my own warm breath on tomato leaves before gently placing a random container over them to protect the sprawling green. Half way through, my toes were frozen solid, I ran back inside and replaced my Chacos with socks and boots. 

Already the temperature had dropped lower and I knew I had to move quick. We have four different garden plots, and thirty plants that needed help, but by 6:15, as frost settled on the grass, I was finished and cuddled up in a chair with a cup of coffee. The plants were safe. 

One by one four kiddos made their way down the stairs. Tired eyed and content they either curled up by the fire or bundled up to check on the animals outside. After breakfast, I headed back out to uncover all the plant babies.

As I uncovered those plants and the sun warmed my back, I thought about my own kiddos. These living things I’ve poured my life into. My energy. My heart. My mind. My entire being I’ve given to raising these precious creatures. Growing kids is hard work! I feel like I've been awake since January of 2006 -- when my first child entered this world.

Lately, I've felt a little like I’m at that place where I don’t want to go pick up all the flotsam and jetsam and cover the plants again. I don’t want to put the extra effort into maintaining and nurturing. Especially when it seems pointless. I’m at the phase where it feels like I’ve done so much tending, so much nurturing, and so much watching. 

But, when the wind blew cold, I was up. I knew I would get up no matter what.

You know what -- I am abundantly blessed. As I watch my children laugh and play and create -- the wind isn't blowing cold at all! The wind is still and the air is sweet and they are growing beautifully. I can rest and watch and tend most of the time. But, I remain ready with my buckets. I will rush and rescue when they need to be covered and rescued. I will to grab my jacket and run out in the middle of the night to stay close and tend.

Some of you are in the middle of rushing to grab buckets, rushing to blow your own breath and life into your child day in and day out. It is exhausting and it often seems pointless. But you are doing the right thing! You are giving them all the strength they need to grow and stretch and create.

Moms, you know it. Even when we are tired, we can move and we can move quick. That is what makes us moms. Today. If you are tired. If you see a mess everywhere, if you feel like all the effort you have put in is pointless. Stop. Watch your gifts. Watch the growth. Let the still day reveal to you that your children are worth the waiting up and the staying up and the getting up and the cleaning up. Because all that work and effort -- produces fruit!


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