This is a beautiful Lily in my garden, but more than that - it tells a story.
Joe and the boys bought me some Lily bulbs for Mother's day in 2015. I love bouquets of Lily flowers, but obviously they die.... So Joe decided to get me some bulbs (amongst other gifts) so that I'd have a constant reminder of how appreciated I am. It was a lovely thought.
Except that the Lillies didn't grow.
All summer I checked, and nothing. Summer passed, still nothing; I found it quite sad.
Then suddenly the next June, over a year later, I saw a shoot appear.
I assumed it was something else until mid - July when the flower heads formed, and yet still no flowers. The flower heads grew and grew but nothing, until just this week when one finally opened. A year and a half later.
But it is spectacular, and it's beautiful.
Parenthood can feel like that sometimes, like there's nothing to show for your work.
You spend time tidying the house - and all it does is bring it back to what it looked like at 6am. You plan an adventure, to be met with tears. But all this graft, all this groundwork, is preparing things underground. And not just in you - but in your precious children too.
You're teaching them what it means to love without conditions, what it means to put others first. You are helping to mould them into fabulous human being - men and women who will rise up - knowing themselves how to parent.
Knowing how to persevere even when they're tired or hungry.
And this season will pass.
It will be less practical and less exhausting, you will get up at a sensible time after a full night's sleep, and have to wake your children. You'll be clothed in clean clothes for an entire day. You will be 'blooming'. But more than that, you'll be standing with your wee ones - with them blooming as well.
You're doing a great job.