"Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” - Matthew 13:32
The past few weeks, I've been watering the soil in our front yard, hoping that the grass seed CJ had planted there would eventually grow. Day after day, I looked at the brown earth, at the little white seeds, and thought, "This will never work. It looks the same as it did yesterday. Surely the grass will never come. It is too late in the season, too cold. I have not watered it as much as I should have."
But then, one morning last week, a few tentative shoots appeared, suddenly. One day there was nothing, no sign of life, and the next, life was emerging in tiny little bursts of green all over the yard. Now, the shoots have stretched and blossomed, dainty grean stalks covering more and more of the soil everyday. We do not have a lawn yet, but we are on our way. I no longer doubt that we will get there.
Growth is like that, I suppose. For the longest time, it seems like nothing is happening, that nothing will ever change, that all of your efforts will prove futile. And then one day, you wake up and realize that life is really different, that somehow all that waiting and watching and watering you've been doing really did matter, that something really did happen during all those endless days of plain old dirt.
I'm trying to remember that raising a baby is like this, that when all I see is the "dirt" of seemingly endless fussyness, sleeplessness, and neediness, growth is happening. One day, I will wake up and realize that Ellie has remembered how to sleep through the night again or that she is no longer spitting up all over the place. One day, she will walk and speak and dance and help me bake cookies and go off to school and grow up big and tall.