Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It'll grow back

I'm not a gardener and I've inherited my mother's greenless thumb so simplicity rules in my flowerbeds. There are three types of flowers that I love and which I will plant just about anywhere. For the summer and fall I love Black-eyed Susans. I plan to kick the bucket while they are in season so they can be used as decoration at my memorial service. But for the spring I like daffodils and tulips; especially red and yellow tulips planted together. A few years after moving to our current house I found several packages of tulips on sale, in just the two colors I wanted. I carefully planned how many I would need to line the front walk with these beautiful colors. For several summers, we had the most gorgeous walkway, if I do say so myself. But then an interesting phenomenon started to happen, my tulips began to decrease. It didn't take long to figure out that in their zeal to be outdoors each spring, my beautiful and obedient children were running right through the walkway flowerbed, on top of my sprouting tulips. But Mom, it takes too long to go around the flowerbed! As each year more and more of those newly formed leaves were trampled upon, fewer and fewer plants lived to see the sun. This year, I had one beautiful red tulip. That's it. No more and thankfully not less. Yellow tulips? No more. Not here, anyway.

For several beautiful days it stood proud and tall. And alone. Practically jeering to the kids to step on it as they ran to the front yard. And I'm sure they did. Alas, maybe it will be better if next year we have zero tulips. Maybe I'll forget about what it used to look like with the red and yellow so perfectly mixed.

It reminds me of a sermon I once heard. In fact, it may very well be the only sermon that I actually remember from all those years of bench-sitting. And it wasn't from my home church, not even delivered by the Good Doctor (don't tell him, he thinks he's a great speaker). Well, can you remember any sermons you've ever heard? I'd bet not too many. Well, okay, all you auditory learners might have an unfair advantage on me here. Give me a drama in church, or a soloist with a powerful message and power point or slideshow behind him/her, and that I will remember. In fact, I could tell you about all sorts of messages I've retained that came through these methods. Like.... wait, I digress.

But as I was saying, when I was about 12 years old, my family was vacationing in Ocean City, NJ like we did every summer. And like we did every summer, we went to the Tabernacle, an interfaith church, for Sunday Services. They always employed the most amazing speakers in the summer and that particular year and Sunday, it was Tony Campolo in the lineup. With parents who served as youth leaders, we knew all about Tony Campolo and were very excited to hear him. Hey, any Christian speaker who was allowed to say things like, "Everyone knows that church youth groups are all about Christian youth leaders sitting in the front of those fall hayrides singing 'Do Lord' while all the kids in the back are 'doing it'..." is certainly worth listening to even if it is church. It also happened to be Father's Day (funny that the only message I've ever remembered was not only as a 12 year old on vacation but during a message aimed at fathers!).

That morning Tony told us the story of his lawn, how his property started out with beautifully manicured and fertilized green-ness, and then he had children. Each year the grass got worse; bare patches started to come through and the green areas turned to brown. Each year he reminded himself "it'll grow back" and that it was worth the ugly lawn to realize the memories he was making with his children as they played together on that lawn.

So as I watched my one and only tulip stand strong and die, I, too, reminded myself that "it'll grow back". When all the kids are grown and out of the house, I'll replant my tulips and my front walkway will once again shine bright in the spring with red and yellow tulips.

But wait, "when all the children are grown" could be ... how many years down the road? And of course there will be grandchildren by then, so add two, carry the ...

Maybe I'll just walk down the road to the nursery and greenhouse every spring and enjoy their tulips.

But why can't the kids run all over the dandelions instead of the tulips?

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