What My Cherry Tree Taught Me About Parenting.

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you tried to force it to happen?

My husband and I planted a cherry tree in our backyard five years ago. In those five years we have plucked off a bounty of four cherries. Four. fucking. cherries. 

For five years I’ve watched it grow, meticulously pruning back its branches, fertilizing the soil and carefully applying mulch. I’ve planted colourful flowers beside it to attract bees and butterflies. I’ve chased off birds, I have sung to it and sent loving vibes. I have looked to the heavens above and called out to Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, “What else do you want from me!??”


Okay, maybe I didn’t do that last one, but I’ve come close.

This Spring I looked at that cherry tree and thought: Not this time. I’m done being your fool. 

I dropped my expectations.

Then suddenly I saw this….


And this….


What the??

Could this be the year of the big bounty? 

This experience made me think of my youngest stepson. He has always struggled in school. I have spent countless hours at the kitchen table trying to help him with his homework. I have also nagged him, been frustrated with him, and at times I have been disappointed by what I perceive to be his lack of effort. Sometimes it feels like: Four. fucking. cherries. 

Similar to the tree, all of my singing and dancing for this kid has not created a fruitful academic environment for him. But for years I believed that higher grades were the cherry on top.

So what did I learn? I need to continue to be supportive, but I need to drop some expectations. In the end, maybe my stepson’s bounty to offer the world doesn’t come from A’s and B’s, maybe it comes from letting him be who he naturally is: one of the sweetest and kindest human beings.

Afterall, when my university days ended, no one I cared about ever asked me what my GPA was.





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