Let’s Grow An Orange Tree

Let’s Grow An Orange Tree

 Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP

Alex always liked the idea of growing things. We tried tomatoes, and peppers, and basil, and pumpkins. We planted seeds, watered them, and waited for them to grow. Sometimes they did but most times they didn’t. I think he enjoyed the process, but it was hard for him when he didn’t wind up with a product. One day he decided he wanted to grow an orange tree, so we researched the type of orange trees that grow best in our area and looked for the best place to plant them. We knew it would take time to actually see oranges grow so season after season we waited and watched. One year to our delight there were a few oranges on the tree but when we picked them, we realized they were just not sweet enough to eat yet. And then one year Alex went away to college. And the oranges came. There were so many oranges on the tree that it was impossible to pick them all quick enough and many fell to the ground and rotted. We were left with an abundance of oranges, but the reason for them was living four hours away and oranges were the last thing on his mind.

One day when I was looking at the tree in its glory it just brought me to tears. I thought of how we eagerly waited year after year for fruit to come and now that it had we were taking it for granted. I think that happens very often in life. We look forward to graduating with a new degree and then complain everyday about having to go to work. We wait for the right man to show up in our lives and then we spend our days complaining about the shoes left by the front door and the garbage that has not been thrown out. We look forward to having children and then we feel burdened by the responsibility at times of chauffeuring them from place to place. We just take it all for granted. Until we lose the job. Until we lose the marriage. Until the children close their bedroom door for the last time and pack up their cars. I pray that as you navigate through your life as a parent that you enjoy every moment and take nothing for granted. Whatever season you are in whether it is planting the seeds with them, waiting for them to grow, or watching them bloom and leave the nest, I hope you will remember to thank God for the chance to be part of their story.

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