“For pity’s sake!”, I heard my young son bark as he was asked to do something.
My heart sank because there was only one person in our house he could have got this from. Me.
He even said it in the way I would say it. He showed his frustration in the way I’ve shown mine.
I didn’t deliberately plant those seeds, but none-the-less, there stands my little harvest of bad temper and pessimism.
It got me thinking about what other crops I can look forward to harvesting.
I wondered how else I might be inadvertently growing a crop I don’t want.
The thoughts I allow to bounce around my head… are they negative and destructive? Are they based on fear and blame? How much time do I waste dwelling on past hurts? Do the thoughts I think translate directly into language and behaviour?
I need to watch what I do, what I say and how I say it. The young eyes and ears pick it up and sometimes reflect back a part of me I wish they hadn’t seen.
But on balance they have seen and heard much more that is positive and loving.
My time as a stay at home dad showed them that gender roles are not fixed. They’ve seen me washing, cooking, cleaning, ironing and changing, feeding and bathing babies.
They’ve heard me talk positively about the future and the importance of being productive.
They’ve seen me step outside my own comfort zone and grow as a result.
They’ve seen me try and fail, and they’ve seen how I deal with that failure by getting back up and persevering.
I hope they’ve also seen me being kind and caring.
I think this particular idiom is so simple it gets overlooked.
But it’s certainly one I’d like my own children to understand.
Its application is broad. It relates to health, fitness, relationships, career and probably anything else you’d care to mention.
My belief is that if we find the fertile soil and keep planting good seed, the chances are good we’ll harvest a decent crop. There are no guarantees, of course, but what’s the alternative? Wishing?
Get sowing. Get reaping.
BTW… Fortunately for me, my earlier guilt was assuaged when later the same day my son was seen to be giving his sister one of his prized possessions. She’d been crying and he was trying to comfort her.