family / LIVING WELL / MOTHERHOOD

from the summer journal

I thought that I'd share an entry from the private journal I kept this summer. It's one of those little lessons that I need to revisit often…

{ july 12. 2010.}

motherhood and bean picking

this morning i was out in the garden trying desperately to pick all the beans before the little prickly yellow caterpillars decimated what was left of our plants. i had to pull and separate the plants and leaves, searching around for the plump beans that were ready to be picked. 

once i finished pulling all the beans off one plant, i moved to the next. 

but it never failed that once i stepped away from the plants and looked at them from the distance, from a different perspective, i noticed several more beans i had missed. 

as i stood out there hunched over the plants, sweat dripping off the tip of my nose, feeling a bit frustrated that my girls weren’t out there helping me get this job done, it occurred to me that there is a lesson about motherhood in bean picking.

i realized that oftentimes i am watching my children so closely. we are together all the time. running errands. eating meals. living. playing. cleaning. working. that often it obscures my view and perspective. i can’t see the “fruit” because i’m right on top of them.

but when i stand back, get a different perspective, ease off, there’s always more fruit to be seen that i hadn’t noticed before. 


I thought that I'd share an entry from the private journal I kept this summer. It's one of those little lessons that I need to revisit often…

{ july 12. 2010.}

motherhood and bean picking

this morning i was out in the garden trying desperately to pick all the beans before the little prickly yellow caterpillars decimated what was left of our plants. i had to pull and separate the plants and leaves, searching around for the plump beans that were ready to be picked. 

once i finished pulling all the beans off one plant, i moved to the next. 

but it never failed that once i stepped away from the plants and looked at them from the distance, from a different perspective, i noticed several more beans i had missed. 

as i stood out there hunched over the plants, sweat dripping off the tip of my nose, feeling a bit frustrated that my girls weren’t out there helping me get this job done, it occurred to me that there is a lesson about motherhood in bean picking.

i realized that oftentimes i am watching my children so closely. we are together all the time. running errands. eating meals. living. playing. cleaning. working. that often it obscures my view and perspective. i can’t see the “fruit” because i’m right on top of them.

but when i stand back, get a different perspective, ease off, there’s always more fruit to be seen that i hadn’t noticed before. 


26 comments on “from the summer journal”

  1. It’s so true and so very, very hard to do at times. I may need to print it off and hang it on my fridge (if that’s ok with you) to remind myself that I am “missing the fruit” sometimes.

  2. so lovely. so true. as a homeschooling mama to four i know that togetherness (the good and bad parts) all too well. but there are moments where i get them one on one, or get to watch them in a new situation and i see them for who they are, what they’re becoming and it breaks my heart a bit because i’m so stinkin’ proud of my littles.

  3. Funny. Last week I was admiring the single and last flower on one of my annuals and remarked to myself how I had never noticed how lovely the flower was. Too determined to nurture the whole we don’t often notice the individual.

  4. Hey Molly,Me again. This is a propos of nothing, save major impact and serious gratitude.I just wanted to drop you a note of thanks for a post of yours, many months back. The particulars escape me, but the gist was the parenting grind, frustration, children forgetting for the twelfth time whatever was important to us (not them), foot-dragging, etc. There was a phone call to a husband, perhaps tears (theirs? yours? probably both), and (to paraphrase) these words: “It takes time.”These three words have been firmly lodged in my frontal cortex, ever since. As I hit (yet another) brick wall, or feel the familiar burbles of frustration yet again, or am wondering why we are still not yet where I think we should be, I come back to this ridiculously obvious, eluded-me-until-now bit of advice. It has literally changed my day to day parenting life. Not much does.

    So thanks. To you, and your other half, and whatever combination of days brought you to that conversation. It’s made a difference, at least in this little life of mine.

    Cheers,Molly

  5. That’s a very good analogy. When my children were small, I would take mini vacations to help get my perspective back. Then when I got home, I saw the children in a new light and appreciated them so much more. You can definitely have too much of a good thing!

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