Several years ago I became friends with a lively, funny, spunky elderly woman named Elaine. I began spending one afternoon a week with Elaine in her apartment, just to keep her company and help her with small tasks such as tending to her many plants which she loved. I would arrive to find her watching her “shows”, soap operas she had watched for years. We would discuss the character’s actions in great detail, even though I had no idea what was happening. I simply nodded my head in agreement with whatever Elaine said, and gasped out loud when she did. We also had lengthy political discussions. After being a Republican most of her life, she was a huge Obama fan and was proud to have voted for him. I always enjoyed my time with Elaine, and looked forward to our weekly visits.
About 2 years ago, Elaine moved with her wonderful daughter to their new home in Los Angeles. I was very sad to see Elaine leave, but was honored to accept one of the small plants from Elaine’s porch that she and I had watered and cared for together. I moved the plant to my back yard, and have named it Elaine’s Flower. Nothing too original, but accurate. Every time I go in the back yard, I see Elaine’s Flower and think of my friend with a smile. Elaine passed away shortly after her move, but her plant lives on in my home just as she lives on in my heart.
So I have an idea for you. Take your child to your local nursery, buy a beautiful plant, and bring it home to your backyard or your window sill. Give it a name, water it when thirsty, feed it when hungry, and appreciate it together. Take a picture of your child and the plant the first day, and regularly after that. See how your plant and your child are blooming, and appreciate them both every day. Just one more way to build a connection with your child.