Gardening and Raising Independent Children: Lessons in the Weeds

There’s a little bit of selfishness in all of us but it’s something that gets a bit complicated when raising kids. Who wants to feel like they are not needed anymore? No one of course, but letting a child go and live his or her life is the epitome of becoming a bit more irrelevant.

Zinnias and sunflowers

There is a great pride a parent takes in watching our words, motions and even our facial expressions reflected in this wonderful person who we’ve watched grow from a helpless infant to a confident adult.

I am having great difficulty finding my own purpose as I watch my son find his. I feel like an actor whose whole life has been a television series: a comedy, a drama, and a love story. So what’s left of this actor?

Garden in the last year or so: Zinnias

All my talents and ideas seem raw and ready for me to see the next path that I’m supposed to take but I’m feeling a lot of melancholy looking back. I am happy to say I savored every moment like it was the most incredible buffet but it went so fast, to ever be able to fully enjoy it, I find myself looking back through pages, reading the beginning, not questioning or fretting just reflecting.

I started this post while tending to an overgrown winter garden, a canvas of sorts, much like the children we raise. I watch the same story unfold as nature gives us all the inspiration we need to live extraordinary lives.

Selfishness is a common trait in the garden as well as our lives. You watch the weeds that bind other plants, clutter and block the light; the sunflower even disperses a chemical with its seeds that stops other seeds from germinating.

I am the mediator, I go in and remove obstacles, plant the garden the way I see fit but in the end, it grows to be its own despite the gardener. 


The child grows out of the garden, out of all our ideas, ideals and expectations. They become adults despite us, they find their path and their place in this world. We can remove some of the obstacles but the main goal for any parent is to raise their child to find their own garden. 

We are all selfish gardeners, planting seeds, fertilizing soil and loving every bit of the flowers we are lucky to enjoy. 

Leave a Reply