I’m missing my father’s garden. He didn’t plant this summer. But through the diary door, where I’ve written about it, I revisit his garden of September 2003, and the nourishment it gives me as a diarist, and the diaries I write for my three children:
“This summer I spent of a lot of time in my father's garden, gratefully picking the lettuce, tomatoes, acorn squash and other delicious vegetables he grows in super abundance there. Often, I would visit his garden just before dinner - to see what I would have for dinner - when the sun was still hot on my shoulders and a slight breeze would blow up to cool me down. One of my daughters would very likely be with me.
Most of the time my father would join me there as I picked, dropping whatever he was doing inside to pick along side me, filling my basket, pointing me in the direction of his best results, analyzing his disappointments, sharing his gardening lessons and theories, animatedly describing his future hopes and dreams for the garden. I thought about all the summers I have spent visiting my Dad in his garden. In spring, summer or fall if he's not inside everyone knows where to find him. He's in the garden.
The garden is a place of passion and peace for my father, I realized. It made me wonder about parenting places of peace. Where is my own place of passion and peace? Where do I naturally do my best parenting?
As I thought about it, as I wrote about it, I realized that the diaries I keep for my three children are my place of passion and peace. The diaries are my garden where I fill their baskets with stories and memories, where I point them in the direction of my best results (!), analyze my shortcomings and mistakes, share my lessons and theories, and yes, animatedly describe my future hopes and dreams for them. In the diaries, more than anything, I harvest peace.”
Where is your parenting place of peace? Is it a real or imaginary place? Is it the woods? The living room couch? The yoga studio? The kindergarten classroom? When and how do you go there? Do your children know about this place? Do they go there with you? Describe your place of passion and peace, and reflect on how and why you do some of your best parenting there.
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I look forwarding to hearing from you!