Something struck me today as I was looking at my beautiful rhododendron bushes. Something really so simple and so very important but something I often forget. A parenting lesson from the bees, if you will.
The flowers that were in full gorgeous bloom only days ago are now wilted. Most of them have fallen to the ground. The bees, however, are still milling about them trying to extract the last precious amounts of nectar/pollen from them. They need to make sure that they get every single drop of nectar and every speck of pollen from those flowers. It’s life-sustaining for them.
The nectar turns into honey which feeds them throughout the winter when there is no way for them to forage for food. The pollen is needed as a food source too. But it also helps maintain the structure of the hive the bees live in. Ok, so stick with me here for a few more lines because I’m certainly no expert on bees. (I’m actually afraid of them) This post isn’t about the science of bees or anything. I’m getting to my point in just a sec. So basically, those bees are sucking every bit of life out of those flowers because they must in order to survive.
Now here ‘s where I’ll tell you what struck me; There are times in my life when things are amazing….I’m on it, I’ve totally got this parenting thing down, everything is going along brilliantly… I’m the Queen of all Moms! My flower is in full bloom! And….sometimes my life wilts…tumbling off its delicate branches onto the ground. Things get chaotic and out of control with nothing but a long cold winter ahead. Those are the times when I need a reminder to be like a bee. You see, my life and the life of my children are like those flowers.
Each season of my life and each stage of my children’s lives have moments of full bloom. Here the happiness (nectar) and joy (pollen) are overflowing. Those blooms are fleeting…but only if you let them be. There were many times during the past 19 years of being a parent where I felt overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of my kids. Yes, there were (and still are) days where I have thought “I’m not good at this”, and “How am I going to do this?”. It’s in those difficult times that I need to “be the BEE”, so to speak, and call on my reserve of “nectar” and “pollen” and draw strength from those moments in which…you know what?… I didn’t do so badly.
It’s from times of little giggles, big hugs, and enormous LOVE that I have been able to gather a lot of “food” to feed myself during those times that feel like a tough winter to me. Children grow from babies to toddlers, then from tweens to teens, and then sooner then you’d like they’re out on their own. So, seeing those bees today reminded me to celebrate every single bloom in their lives (and mine) and to help them extract every single bit of joy and happiness that they can from each new flower that blooms over the years….it really IS life sustaining.
***Oh, if for some reason you’re really interested in learning more about bees, nectar, & pollen you can click HERE .**