Monday, February 22, 2016

Is It Too Late?

El Nino El Schmino!
Where is our rain?
So Summer has officially hit Southern California, 90 degrees, one 64 degree day of rain, followed by another 85 degree day!  They lied to us.
In the midst of this Summer heat, I totally forgot to prune back my roses.
Usually I cut them way back to nubs in January, but I kinda forgot that it was winter!
"Shoot, I forgot to cut back the roses last month," I said to my husband.
Walking out and looking at them today I found that they're thin and spindly.  
They have already sprouted some new growth and buds at the end of gangely branches.
They look horrible.
Do I cut them back now?
Is it too late?
Did I miss the window?
I don't know, but I knew I couldn't leave them growing as they are.
They look horrible!
As I stood in the hot sun, hacking at the rose bushes, wondering if they'll come back full and nice, I thought about parenting.
We are flooded with statistics these days like, "a child has fully formed their personality by age 3." AKA, if you're kid isn't super polite and kind and compassionate by 3, you're screwed!
Or "the brain has fully formed by age 5," so if you're kid isn't reading Shakespeare, speaking 2 languages and mastering 3 instruments by 5, most likely they won't be going to college.
(these aren't actual statistics, but you know what I mean!)
Or any of the other things they tell us to make us think that we've missed the window and it's too late as parents!
I've been feeling this way a little bit lately as some ugly behavior that was never fully extinguished is now growing in a spindly, hollow, ugly way.
Is it too late?
Should I have cut that off a few years ago?
Did I miss the window as a parent to form polite, gracious children?
 As I chopped the roses, getting stuck with thorns and burned by the sun I again thought of parenting.
It is never fun to discipline a child.
It is painful and we can easily get burned.
Isn't it easier to just stay inside where it's cool and avoid the hard work?
It's too late any way, they are who they are.
But like the roses, I can't just leave them that way.
Growing wildly without boundaries or attention.
It's so unattractive.
And even if there are a few great moments of politeness, like new buds on the ends of ugly branches, they still aren't appealing.
I really believe that it's never too late to correct a child.
Discipline is done out of great, deep love.  And we all know it's never too late to love someone!
No matter how out of control we feel or overwhelmed, it's never too late.
And just like I'm confident that my hearty, stubborn roses will come back beautifully, I know that children can be trained and transformed, even past 5 years old!
So, regardless of what the books say, I'm pruning roses and kids!
Because no matter what the season is, they both need it!

(I'll post pictures in a few months to see the new, beautiful, healthy growth!)

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