Last spring, I started some gardening and have learned many valuable lessons from doing this.I wrote earlier about a couple of these lessons and was again working outside, thinking about writing up some more. While my rake and I were relocating the zillionth fall leaf from under the porch bench, I noticed a pile of seven, small daffodil bulbs sitting on a stepping stone on the side of the porch.It’s December.It’s Kentucky. Bulbs should not be sitting on the porch this late in the year, so why were these?Then I remembered exactly how they got there.

Earlier in the fall, Erin and I were planting daffodil bulbs in the hope of an even more beautiful spring when suddenly it started to rain.I sent her up on the porch and kept trying to get just a few more bulbs in the ground.Of course, by the time I surrendered to the forces of nature, I was soaked to the bone and Erin got a real kick out of me having to trudge dripping wet into the house.I gave her the extra, unplanted bulbs to put out on the porch to be planted later and the next time I noticed them, it was December.

While sweeping, I kept thinking about those seven little bulbs.Here’s our situation.In the spring, we have beautiful irises, day lilies, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, and gladiolas all throughout the yard and around the house.What difference would a few more little daffodils make?They might not have grown anyway, and even if they did, they’d probably be puny from the looks of the bulbs.They might not be a complimentary color with the others planted nearby.They might even take away from the beauty of the healthy ones if they did bloom and turned out to be shabby.Their roots could use up vital nutrition that could go toward those other bulbs, and since they’re not going to be stellar anyway, why waste my energy and good resources on them?


On the other hand, what might seven little daffodils do if given the chance?If I get busy, choose a sunny location, put a little extra time in loosening the soil, add a few more nutrients to the ground, carefully place each bulb so that the roots face down and the tip points skyward, add just enough water, then cover and pat the earth over each bulb for protection and warmth, those little stinkers might just make it.Seven daffodils are enough to fill two bud vases with bright, yellow blooms, bringing joy and smiles into our house.Seven daffodils are enough for Erin to share with seven neighbors creating the perfect excuse for at least seven hugs.Seven daffodils are enough to get the attention of someone walking by, maybe someone trying to walk off some sadness, and help to lift their spirits. Maybe seven daffodils are not much, but if even just one blooms, that is enough reason to celebrate.

So, we’re back to the question of whether or not they will bloom. The unknown factor in this process is not totally the bulbs, or even the ground.The real unknown factor is me.Will I go out there and choose those spots, cultivate that soil, plant those bulbs, and take care of them daily so they have the very best chance of surviving, or, better yet, thriving?Or will I say that enough is enough?We’ve got plenty of flowers.Let’s leave it at that. Will I leave those bulbs on the porch and settle for whatever comes from what’s already there? Will I settle for a good garden when something in those seven bulbs might be just the ticket to help turn it into a great one?

The one thing for certain is that if I’m going to do something, it has to be now.I can’t wait for spring to make this decision.By then, it will be too late.I may wish ever so hard for those seven more daffodils to bloom, and I may even cry, but by not planting them now, I have removed all possibility of their blooming.

In our lives with PWS, we sometimes have opportunities to do a little something extra with or for our children.We all do the basics and that’s enough to wear us out, so why should we take on even more?Maybe the answer is similar to my questions about this little pile of daffodil bulbs.What extra therapy is sitting on my “to do” list, just waiting to be scheduled?What new doctor’s visit might give me just the piece of information I need to make progress on a stubborn issue?What play date might just result in a supportive friendship that could bring my child incredible happiness?These are the bulbs in Erin’s life that are waiting to be planted.Doing these extra things with Erin is like planting those bulbs.

It’s easy for me to look at Erin’s routine as it is and be happy she has done as well as she has.The standard therapies and strategies have gotten her pretty far and we’re so thankful for that.At the same time, I can’t shake off the awareness that there is still so much more than I can do for her, so many more little bulbs that can be planted to make the garden of her life bloom fully.

Today’s the day to decide. Putting it off until tomorrow risks even more delay and, if enough time passes, may make whatever bulb I plant less likely to bloom. It often takes months, even years, to see the effect of the work, but the eventual outcome could make all the effort worth it.Whatever comes from this, I want to be able to say that I did everything I could to help Erin’s garden grow, that I didn’t settle for “good enough.”

If I’m going to do this, I’d better get busy with the necessary tools that will get this started.I’ll need to put down my rake and shovel, and then pick up my phone, my pencil, and calendar.That’s all it takes to get started, then we’ll sit back and, in time, see what blooms.I can hardly wait!

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