Back in April, Hayes came home from primary with a Styrofoam cup that he had planted sunflower seeds in. He had learned in primary that faith is like a seed that can start as something small, and with care and work, can grow to be something big and beautiful. He faithfully watered his seeds and was surprised that within a week, he had three little seedlings coming up strong. One of them was held closed by the seed. When it didn't come off, we tenderly removed it. The leaf had a little scar, but was no worse for the wear.
With more water and sunshine, I took these pictures (top and bottom) after the first true leaves appeared. We wanted to transplant them out into the flower bed, but it was still getting too cold at night, so we kept them inside for protection. When it finally warmed up, we took the foot tall plants out to the flower garden. They were so tall and skinny that we were worried they wouldn't do well. They were so safe in our kitchen window. They didn't grow for a few days while adjusting to their new environment, but soon enough, they were thriving in their new found freedom and fresh air.
Hayes kept his eye on the plants over the next few months. One time he came in distraught and told me that the plants were gone, that they must have died. So we went out and discovered that they were not gone, just hidden by the larger plants that had been in the flower bed all season. He was relieved. Their stems were getting thicker and stronger and could stand up to the gusts of wind. A few weeks ago, we found buds at the top of the plants, they were close to flowering.
And this week they emerged. Bright and yellow, adding beauty and and color to the garden. They had grown taller than the plants around them and wouldn't be lost in the crowd anymore.
Hayes has the beautiful buddings of a testimony. He has since he was a little boy. He has always asked questions about heaven and Jesus and the life after this. He doesn't view death as a bad thing and always wants to know if he'll have all of his deceased pets in heaven. His prayers are full of faith. He speaks to his Father in Heaven like a boy speaking with his father. If I ever need a prayer said, I ask Hayes because he always gets answers to his prayers; probably more answers in his short 9 years than I have gotten in my 34 years.
I hope that as he grows and experiences little scars that his testimony will continue to grow. I hope that I will be able to send him out to the outside world, confident that his tall, skinny testimony can hold up to the pressures of the world. I hope that he will emerge a strong, confident man, with that glow that comes from living a good life and having faith in the Lord. I hope I can do the things now to help him begin on the path to a strong testimony that can weather the storms of life and be stronger because of them. I hope that his testimony and special spirit can add to the beauty of the world around him. I look at the picture of his innocent, little face next to those emerging plants, and I have all the hope in the world. (And a little fear too)(But that's what Mom's do...right?)