The past spring was cold and rainy, really downright miserable. In my garden journals for 2009 and 2010, I have records of planting seeds in starting medium on my back porch as early as the end of March. This year, however, there simply wasn’t enough sunlight in April or May to sufficiently warm a seed enough to even sprout!
Finally, at the very end of May, I purchased a few small plants and sowed some seeds directly into the garden. The tomato plants looked small and forlorn in their cages, and the zucchini and cucumber seeds didn’t sprout for over a week.
When my family and I headed out on May 29 for a wedding in another state, I hoped the weather wouldn’t hinder their growth.
My dear, sweet niece, Courtney–my only niece–was married on June 1. From the rehearsal to the wedding to sight-seeing the following day, memories crept into every event, every visit with friends, every sight.
For my husband, seeing his old childhood stomping grounds brought giddy joy as he shared with our girls–he and his dad used to golf at the country club where the rehearsal dinner was held. His mom brought him to VBS at the same church where the wedding took place. We had lunch with an old friend at the pizzeria he frequented as a teen. We drove our girls to see the small house where we lived on the second floor when we were first married. He marvelled at how quickly time has passed since our own wedding nearly twenty years ago.
As I prepared to sing for Courtney and Dave during the ceremony, my thoughts became a runaway train. I pictured her when I gave her her first bath, only a few days after she was born. So tiny, so long ago. She grew up so fast! All three of my daughters were bridesmaids–they stood poised and smiling at the front of the sanctuary. My youngest is now ten. Where has the time gone? My oldest will go to college in two years–that’s too soon!
There were times when they were younger and stomping all over my nerves that I wanted to tell them, “Oh, grow up!” But, now I wish they could stay young, be home, and remain innocent and protected from the struggles and stresses of adulthood.
When my oldest was born, a dear friend told me, “Savor each day, every moment. You’ll blink and she’ll be all grown up.” With a squirming pink bundle in my arms, such words were hardly to be taken seriously.
But you know what? My friend was right.
My babies are now young women, each with a vivacious personality unique to her innermost being. My oldest is a beautiful artist in love with God and always thinking of how she can help others, especially children. My middle child is the most extroverted sanguine I have ever met! Each day she delights me with smiles and laughter. My youngest is a lady through and through, in character, action, and temperament, as if she stepped out of a Jane Austen novel.
As much as I want to hold onto them–to not let them grow up–I am excited for their futures. I wouldn’t hold them back if I could.
The song I sang for Courtney’s wedding was the same song which was sung at my own wedding. One of the lyrics says, “I will be here, and you can cry on my shoulder when the mirror tells us we’re older. I will hold you and I will be here to watch you grow in beauty, and tell you all the things you are to me.”
To watch you grow.
My parents, happily married for 56 years, were at the wedding. The bride’s parents will celebrate 27 years of marriage this fall. Bruce and I will be married 20 years in December. Through the sunlight of joy and the raining tears, we held onto each other. During those combined 103 years a lot of growing up took place. For all of us.
Thanks to the intense heat of the past week–and my garden sprinkler early in the mornings–my garden is beginning to provide produce. Cucumbers abound, hiding under their vines. The squash and melons are ripening. Broccoli is ready for harvest. Onions beg to be loosed from the soil. The beans and peas climb higher and higher. The corn is, well, not quite as high as an elephant’s eye, but it sure is heading there! And the tomatoes? Some of the plants are monsters. If they weren’t caged, I believe they’d walk out of the garden.
My handful of seeds and tiny plants are almost fully grown, bringing me joy and sustaining me. My hard work is paying off.