Growing Grass and Children

New grass is growing in my backyard.

This homestead, our home, was quite literally carved out of a mountain just 18 months ago. We’re still working to tame the wilderness. We battle the creepers and crawlers and tiny winged things that seem to insist their home was here first. We pull up weed after tangly weed. We find poison ivy in the woods and in the crooks of our arms and behind our knees.

When all is raked and combed and tilled, we sow the seeds, and then we wait. We watch the tiny shoots of green reach for the sky, and urge the rolling thunderheads to stop their tireless grumbling and just rain already.

Round one, the July sun was too hot and our little green shoots shriveled up to a lovely sunbaked brown.

Try again.

It’s working this time. The green, fighting the brown, fighting the weeds, fighting the sun. But you can’t turn your back. In this heat, in this earth, growth must be tended, coaxed, loved, urged.


Henry’s been mad at me the past few weeks. The baby is here to stay. And she’s nursing, always nursing, keeping Mommy from helping with his pajamas or pouring his juice.

“Can you get Jordan to help you?”

“Why don’t you take that to Lucy and let her fix it?”

The sun of this trial is hot on his little shoulders, and he’s weary, I can tell. I have no doubt he will survive, but I must not forget to tend, to coax, to urge, to love.

Tonight, I took Henry for a walk. We looked for grasshoppers and found many. Looked for turtles and found none. We laughed and counted the leaves on clover until we found the magic four. We shared mosquito bites, we watched ants crawl over our toes. We rekindled, and fell in love with each other all over again. We needed it – to touch noses and hearts, to hold hands and remember that we are in this together, he and I.

And like new grass growing, surviving the trial of rainless summer days and scorching heat, we will weather this season just fine.

20 thoughts on “Growing Grass and Children

  1. Momza says:

    I can so relate to this, Mommy J.As each new baby came into our family, there was always the struggle of adjustment between the former youngest "baby" of the family and my time and energy. I always felt guilty…it's hard to prepare them for the changes coming. Try as I might.I would make a conscious effort to put the baby down when I could, and just snuggle with the others or really listen to them. Just as you have shared today–the definition of Motherhood is "Multi-tasking, Multi-nurturing, and much much loving."Sending hugs to you in your growing season.

  2. T says:

    sometimes I worry that I'm better with grass than with my children. ManOfTheHouse and I are dividing and conquering this weekend – boys with him, and a little girl time here at the house. No new baby for us, but sometimes they just need a little more time.I love this post!

  3. Tobi says:

    Poor Henry. It must be tough for him to adjust to not being the baby anymore. I don't have any useful advice for you. My son wasn't really upset about gaining more independence and having less of my attention when his sister came home. It certainly gave him more time to make mischief when I was distracted.

  4. Camille says:

    During the times I would nurse my baby, my toddler (firstborn) started competing for my attention, like putting my nursing pads on her head as a hat, or "threatening" to color on the walls. It was then I realized she needed that undivided attention.Loved this post! So beautifully written!

  5. Kimberly says:

    Oh this gave me chills…of the good, happy-making, making me want to be better variety. Although they love their little sister, our older girls have been needing that coaxing and urging and loving…more than I've been making time to give them. I love the poignancy of this post, and the love in it. You have such a beautiful heart.

  6. Jessica says:

    There is 6 years between my two kids. I would like another one in the next year or two (husband permitting). I was wondering myself how that goes when the kids are closer in age.Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from SITS!

  7. Nessa says:

    This is a beautiful post that I can very much relate to. I remember those days. You are a gifted writer. Thanks for sharing with us.Stopping by via SITS.

  8. LakeMom says:

    What a beautiful post. You are doing the right things, getting older sibling to learn to help the younger, letting the younger find his own independence and then finding the time to reconnect and make them feel special. Good job!

  9. Kazzy says:

    Nice post. We had a friend years ago that heard us lamenting our yard and said, "Grow children, then grass." That relieved a lot of my yard guilt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s