I recently took my children to a friend’s daughter’s birthday party. After the party, the children were offered a choice of party favors. I was surprised when my 5-year-old son, the farm boy (like, we actually live on a farm), chose a little plastic pot with a seed in it (guaranteed to grow, just add water). I started coaching him to choose something else, saying, “Leave the seeds for other children. You have millions of seeds at home, so maybe a new eraser for school?” But he dug in and brought the pot home.
As a mother, I should really learn to keep my mouth shut, because I couldn’t have been more wrong. In the next few days, he cared for his little potted plant with so much care it was stunning. He watched the little sunflower seedling emerge from the soil, drop its seed shell and poke its head toward the light. Each day he carefully carried his little pot to the sink and added just a few drops of water, not enough to flood the tiny pot. Read the rest of this entry →