There's this yard I pass every time I run that is filled with daisies, growing wild, haphazard. These daisies weren't planted in a garden, part of a landscape artist's carefully executed layout. These daisies grow where they want, in clumps with no rhyme or reason. I love running by that yard and always have to resist the urge to pick the daisies.
The other day though, I noticed that the homeowner was out with her push mower and my heart sank. Because I was sure she'd just mow under the poor daisies. It wasn't like she'd planted them-- that was clear-- and I was sure she'd cut them down just as fast as they'd cropped up.
Imagine my surprise when, as I passed by on my return, I saw that she'd mowed around the daisies, leaving little clumps of higher grass where the daisies stood. It made me like her, this willingness to save the daisies, to respect the wildflowers that some would call weeds. I felt like I'd glimpsed her heart.
This little story soon morphed into a parenting analogy for me: how I tend to just want to mow it all under-- bushwhacking my way through my kids' lives, cutting it all out because it's faster and more efficient and less time consuming. Literally leveling the playing field. I don't want to take the time or make the effort to mow around the daisies. I just want it done. Handled. Covered. But if I do that, they'll never see my heart for them. And I'll never see theirs. Saving the daisies takes effort, and intention. It takes leaving some clumps and letting go of perfection. It takes me embracing the wildness that is their unique beauty. And doing whatever I can to preserve it.