My 2-and-a-half year old managed to teach me something recently that I want to share with you, as it really stunned me how he managed to have a better perspective on life than I have. How it’s easy to lose sight of what’s actually going on in front of your eyes.
We were walking past a row of houses on our way to school to pick up the big kids. Toddler is very into flowers at the moment and we spend lots of time looking for them, blowing dandelions is one of his favourite things to do. I was carrying him in my arms as he was tired, and he looked across at the house we were about to pass and pointed, “Mummy look!!! Flowers… LOTS of flowers…!” I looked over and saw the house he was pointing to had a beautiful front garden full of ornate plant pots, filled with brightly coloured plants and flowers, all with perfectly neat soil. There seemed to be every variety of flower you could imagine all perfectly planted. Lot of wonderful ornaments and statues, it was one of those amazing garden’s you only dream of having. I told him the flowers were lovely and we admired them as we walked past… his smile was so big looking at them all.
As we approached the neighbouring house he was still keenly looking to spot more flowers. He suddenly shrieked and shouted “WOW WOW MUMMY Look MORE FLOWERS! Pretty!!!” even happier sounding than before. I looked across expecting to see another garden full of perfect flowers but instead the grass next door was patchy, a simple lawn with wild daisy’s scattered all over it. There was nothing else. It consisted of nothing but natural grass with simple wild flowers. I looked at his face and how happy and amazed he was by that garden. He wasn’t comparing it to the first at all, just admiring the daisy’s for exactly what they were. It was just another garden with flowers to him. He was completely right. The second garden was pretty. Yes it was simple, it was natural. The toddler didn’t care about comparing the two, just that a flower is a flower and that’s that. The second one was no less of a garden full of flowers, and he saw it for what it was. Beautiful, and simple and absolutely no less than the first garden.
It made me think that even if I usually feel like the mother equivalent of a patchy lawn with wild daisy’s growing in it, that it is OK to be just that, and I should stop comparing myself to the garden next door. Simple doesn’t mean any less beautiful, or any less at all. If the flowers symbolise the love we have for our children, it doesn’t matter whether you have your flowers perfectly planted, preened and arranged, or you would liken yourself to a patchy section of wild daisy’s that grow randomly through the soil, the children don’t see anything apart from what’s there: love. And that’s what matters.
Photos: the beautiful Winter Wonder toddlers. Freya, Maddi, Rhea and Danny.