In college I killed a cactus. I have long assumed that I am probably lacking in the green thumb department, so I was just as surprised as anyone else when I suddenly had the urge to buy a house plant recently. Initially I was going to buy one of those clever hanging plants to display on my balcony, but my husband (love him) suggested I start with a smaller (read: cheaper) plant with the mind set that it would be wiser to kill an inexpensive plant first than a larger investment plant. It made sense – I took no offense to this idea because it’s true. I love that he knows me well enough to realize that this is both an important step for me, but also one that we should step into lightly, making baby steps. A month from now I may have lost all interest in house plants…
Then again, every time I look at this little plant, which we picked up at our local farmers market for just $3, I like it more and more. I bought it with a small amount of apprehension as I know nothing about plants and didn’t know if this one was “a good one” – or how much of a commitment caring for it would be. I wasn’t even sure it was my style. But I took a chance and I have to say I’m pretty smitten with it. I check in on it a couple times a day to make sure it’s handling this heat wave okay, checking for any dead petals or leaves that could be trimmed away. It’s remarkably easy on some levels, this caring for plants thing seems to involve a bit of common sense. Go figure.
In a lot of ways plants and babies are pretty similar. They require a certain amount of love and attention (though babies admittedly require more of it) to grow, but when you do it right the results are stunning. They are ever so delicate and at the same time, tougher than they look. It’s a balancing act. The care and nurturing of them is both new and daunting but also relatively obvious once you figure it out. Keep them alive and help them to flourish. Show them love and watch them grow. Marriage is similar I suppose. It would seem that I’ve entered yet another new relationship where a certain amount of commitment is required to keep it healthy. If that commitment is genuine and well kept up with, things should go well. I can remember looking at motherhood as it approached, hesitantly wondering if I was cut out for this – not having the slightest idea how to care for something so small. Looking at marriage was similar – would I be any good at this being a wife thing? I hope that my houseplant fares as well as my marriage and son have.
I’ve had a lot of new beginnings in the past few years. Several times now I have made commitments to new people, places and things – new ways of living. It’s been impossible at each point to know for certain that things will work out for the best, but that leap of faith has been rewarded each time. Look how far we’ve come. Wonderful husband, darling son, exciting new chapters in our lives together unfolding as we’ve left the comforts of our upbringings and branched out to this new home, this new place, this new life. Soon we’ll stretch ourselves further and become a family of four. There are apprehensions and fears, of course, but if history has shown anything, I’m thinking it will go well.
I cannot wait to meet the newest member of our family. I cannot wait to witness my heart filling to the brim again – to see her face and know my daughter, to learn the art of parenting a second time as I figure out this whole “mother of two” thing. And I wonder, after this, when I have conquered marriage, motherhood, moving, the mothering of two and the caring of my little flower – what new beginning will we reach for next? What will be the next chapter in our lives that will test us in ways we can’t yet imagine?