I was walking our dog, Seamus, this morning and saw this growing in the grass:
I started thinking about how that mushroom came to grow there. I’m pretty sure the company that maintains the grass had no plans for a mushroom. In fact, if the conditions hadn’t been just right that mushroom wouldn’t have grown at all. It’s appearance was unexpected.
Our children have similar surprises within. We as parents don’t suspect they are there and then BAM, up one comes. You never know when a mushroom will grow in your child. Sometimes these mushrooms don’t conform to our values or teachings. At other times, the mushrooms may be traits or talents. Whatever they may be they are unexpected in the landscape we know.
My son Sam surprises me with his memory. When I talk to him, it will sometimes appear that he isn’t listening. Later, we have a situation that arises around that very topic. Sam can quote what I taught him. Because he has ADHD, it’s difficult to know when he is listening and when he isn’t. This unexpected talent surprises me, but I’m always grateful when it happens.
I had another surprise “mushroom” on vacation this year. One of my children and I went to get a drink. While filling the cup, this child used language that shocked me. I didn’t expect it and I asked “Excuse me?” The child said “Dad, sometimes I use language like that.” I told this child that I didn’t appreciate that language and that he should not use it around me or others. This is a mushroom that I wish hadn’t sprung up. I was disappointed it had.
So, just like the mushroom I encountered on my walk today, our children sometimes pop-up with things that can surprise us. What about you? Have you seen mushrooms sprout unexpectedly in your children? What do you do when it happens?