With leaves falling and trees swaying, it’s not hard to look at the beauty of nature with awe. Even more awe-inspiring of course, is that that same awesomeness is inside each one of us! As parents, we are growing every day, just like our children. Don’t forget it!
I love fall!, don’t you? The crisp air, the changing leaves, the cozy evenings – I could go on and on! Walking today, I admired the falling leaves and thought about the lessons we can learn just from the trees that grow around us. Of course they offer us beauty, shade, clean air and so much more; but with a little reflection we can also take away a few important parenting lessons. Here are a few things I’m learning:
Always Stand tall: No matter what life throws our way, as parents we always have the option to take a deep breath, and stand tall and proud in our decision, no matter how great or small.
Rejoice in stages: From the first buds to the last falling leaf, we rejoice in the stages of a tree. In the same way, as parents we must rejoice as much in the teenager who is becoming an adult as we do the baby just learning to walk.
Strong roots: One of the greatest gifts we can give our children are solid, firm roots. One of my favorite pieces of writing is Desiderata by Max Ehrmann – one line states, “Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.” You can read the whole thing here. (I love it so much I have it hanging on a wall in our home!)
True colors: Who knows what colors our children will show as they grow? As their parents, we must celebrate and encourage them no matter what traits, characteristics, and life decisions they make and develop as time goes on. We love our children, no matter what; just as there is beauty in an autumn leaf regardless of which color it turns.
Let them fall: A tree would never chastise a leaf for falling. Be like the tree. When your child falls, be there for them, unwavering in your nearness. Remember, it’s not how many times you fall but how many times you get back up!
Know Your Potential as a Parent: Even the greatest tree starts off as a tiny seedling. You are growing, just like your children are, and every day is the chance to be something great.
Everything Has a Season: Your great challenges as a parent are a perennial as the trees around you; everything is a phase! While we can do our best to “fix” things such as difficult sleeping or eating patterns, the knowledge that everything is a phase is truly liberating.
Have Patience: Trees grow and leaves change whenever the time is right. Some babies learn to walk at 8 months, others at 15. Your child is growing and developing at a pace that is right for them (but of course, always check with your pediatrician if you have concerns).
Keep Growing, No Matter What: Trees don’t stop growing because things get tough. No matter what life offers you, you can grow from it!
Happy Fall, Y’All! Enjoy this beautiful season with your little ones. This season passes all too quickly.