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Zen Mama Wannabe » Blog Archive » Planting the Seeds
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Planting the Seeds

Our routine is a simple one. Every night after stories, I tuck each child into bed.  When they are settled in their cozy nests surrounded by those 2 or 3 stuffed animals they insist on snuggling with, I reach over to hug and kiss them good nite. "Sweet dreams, I love you" – all those important words get said.  Those are the words that water the garden, the words that cause everything to grow.  But I am beginning to realize that right before sleep is the perfect time for planting too.  Why not pull out a seed or two of inspiration and plant it softly in their ear, where hopefully it floats to their brain and begins to germinate and sprout.

This is what I whispered to my son last night:

You are so smart, and so brave, and you work so hard at things!  I know you can do anything in the world you want to – as long as you try hard enough.  I love you always.

Planting the seeds – with a little water to help it grow. 

Here is the thing:  I want my children to know they CAN do anything they really want to.  Why should there be limits?  Who says?  The world in and of itself provides enough limits; why do they need to hear them from me? 

Because, someone would tell me, you are setting them up for failure.  What are the chances, really, that your son will become a major league professional baseball player?  Or a famous author like Dr. Seuss?  Those odds are one in a million.  You are not being realistic with them – you should not teach them to live in a fantasy world. 

Right, God forbid we encourage our children, or tell them they can have the life they dream about.  We as adults “know” life is not like that, right?  Those types of dreams are impossible.  Except for the ones that didn’t buy into those limits – the Walt Disneys and Michael Phelps of the world – the ones that didn’t accept the word “impossible,” even with "impossible" odds. 

I will never forget a conversation I had with my father just a few months before he died.  I don’t remember how it came up, but I told him, “Daddy, I am going to be a published writer someday!”  He looked me square in the eye and said so firmly and sincerely, “Honey, I know you will.  There is not a doubt in my mind.” 

I think about that, not only when I need a writing pep-talk, but also as a parenting example of how far belief in the abilities of a child can go.  He could have told me how hard it was, talked of all the rejections slips I might face, or answered with a vague, “Yes, well, maybe someday.”  Instead his reply gave and continues to give me all the faith and encouragement I need.  What a gift.  That is what this Zen Mama Wannabe wants to pass on. 

Ultimately, I want my children to know it is not what they do, but who they are that matters.  That is what is important in life.  Who are you as a person?  Are you kind, are you generous, do you ask “How may I help?” instead of “What is in it for me?”  How can you make a difference in the world? 

Big people have big dreams and small people have small dreams.  If you want to change who you are, begin by changing the size of your dreams.

Robert Kiyosaki
Author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Exactly.  So I am going to keep working at planting the seeds.  Reminding them of the brilliance that is inside them (inside each of us – this does not just apply to kids you know!)  These are the thoughts I want to take root and grow.  Remember, you can only reap what you sow.

The world is full of the people with the 9 reasons why they can’t do X or Y and definitely not Z.  Let me not be one of them.  Like that famous quote from Michelangelo, "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”  I think it is time we all dreamed big and stretched high.  After all, we all have a garden to tend to – we just need to ask if we are planting the right seeds? 

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7 Responses to “Planting the Seeds”

  1. Tonggu Momma Says:
    September 22nd, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    What an absolutely gorgeous post.

  2. LarkLady Says:
    September 22nd, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    I saw a sign by one of the businesses I drive by on my way to work — one of those movable letter signs that changes once or twice a week. It caught my eye and my attention enough so that I copied it down once I got to work and hung it by my desk:

    THE SKY IS NOT THE LIMIT WHEN THERE ARE FOOTPRINTS ON THE MOON!

  3. Zen Mama Wannabe Says:
    September 22nd, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    That is a great quote too! I keep a file of my favorite ones – that one about footprints on the moon will definitely be added in. Thanks for sharing.

  4. LarkLady Says:
    September 23rd, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Isn’t it amazing how often we impose unintended limitations on ourselves through our unconcious thinking patterns? I think you’re doing your children a tremendous favor by keeping them as open as possible to dreams and goals most people would scoff at as being unrealistic. Life has quite enough mechanisms which work to screen out those who attempt lofty goals but aren’t quite up to it; why should we self-select out of a race we might win just by showing up and trying our best?

    If your son doesn’t have what it takes to be a major league baseball player, then he’ll stumble along the way: he won’t make the varsity baseball team in high school, for instance, or the college team — something will come along and make it plain this isn’t the road for him. But one thing I can guarantee: if he doesn’t try for it, he won’t make it. Self-selection out of a process is the surest guarantee of failure I can think of!

    And when you think about it, why should we be our own worst enemy?? There are enough other people and other factors working against us — why should we help them out??

  5. Zen Mama Wannabe Says:
    September 23rd, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Well put, Lark Lady! Now I just need to remember all this for ME as well. After all, it isn’t just our kids that run into limits and dream-busters — think about all the limiting self-talk we use on ourselves!

  6. Sheri Says:
    September 23rd, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    I try to do that with my boys, I tell them often how wonderful they are, and that they can be whatever they want. There are so many people that will try to put up roadblocks along their way, I want to instill that confidence and faith early. What a great mama you are!

  7. callieandbatido Says:
    September 24th, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Our kids really can be anything they dream of being. And, hey, so can we. Having big dreams is so important. Is there really any other kind? Your son’s big dream may to be a great baseball player and if encouraged, he can work hard toward that dream. And along the way life will lead him to his next big dream. Sometimes following our dreams leads us to where we were meant to be all along.

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