Yesterday while eating my lunch out on the deck on a warmer-than-usual Boone January day (see my related post), I spotted several tender bulb shoots all over our flower garden.
My first reaction (which occurred to me almost immediately was not much different than your average loving mother) was to run inside and find some fabric sheets to cover the premature shoots, so I could protect the coming flowers who clearly have not seen the end-of-week forecast calling for real winter weather. As I stood up to retrieve the coverings, it hit me like a the infamous Boone Blizzard of '93 that by covering them, I would only be prolonging the inevitable, as we have plenty of winter days ahead. So although my motherly, well-intended efforts would help initially, covering these stems would prove a futile effort, unless I could commit to doing it A) without smothering them by shielding them too long or too much, and also B) be willing to become a constant weather watcher and attend to the flowers with spring gardener fervor.
Guess you might be able to tell that my children came to me this week, each dealing with something that I so wanted to (and could have) just cover up and fix for them. I wrestle with my maternal monster--don't worry, she's not particularly scary, she just sometimes has difficulty determining when to let the kids handle things on their own, when to quietly step in, when to gently assist, when to strongly intervene, or when to completely take over. Do I cover up my own blessed blossoms and make everything all right? Or do I trust myself and my husband to give them the tools and let them use them (even if it means that often it takes longer for them to find their solution)?
Well, for now, I've decided to leave the premature blossoms alone in the deck-side garden (though I know I'll be watching them). And this week I'll do my best to allow my children to tend to their own gardens, as long as they don't forget they've got this old, loving florist who does consult work no matter the season.
It's taken me over 40 years, but now I FINALLY understand why she's called Mother Nature.