We plant ideas in our children. We show them and tell them and show them and tell them what is important to us, what we want to be important to them. We believe that we are planting those ideas in fertile soil and that with proper care, those ideas will take root and grow in our children.
When something we hold dear and pass onto our children grows in them...well, there is nothing in the world as satisfying or gratifying or inspiring.
Today I saw an idea sprout in Brynn.
Brynn's social studies textbook was following a Texas wheat farmer. The farmer was explaining to them how he grows wheat. In Brynn's words, "After the wheat sprouts, he said that he fertilizes the wheat. Our book said that fertilizers are 'chemicals that farmers spray on seedlings to help them grow.'"
She even knew the page number. No mention of compost. No mention of manure. Nothing about other techniques for growing plants.
To most third graders (heck, probably most adult Americans), this idea of using chemical fertilizers would probably pass unnoticed. And it sounds like, for most of Brynn's class, it did.
But organic food, sustainable food systems, and chemical-free living (or chemical-light, as the case may be) are ideas that Scott and I planted in Brynn before she was even in kindergarten. They are ideas we've been nurturing for years but not expecting to see evidence of until she begins making her own choices as a consumer.
To see her questioning her textbook and questioning conventional farming at only eight years old -- it blew me away and made me indescribably proud.
While Brynn didn't have the courage to speak up during class (she is shy and extremely respectful of authority, just like her dad and I were at her age), she is not satisfied with what her textbook is teaching her and she is itching to talk to someone about it. Someone besides me, but not someone as authoritative as her principal. She wants to talk to a teacher who will sympathize with her and help her understand how her textbook could leave out what are, in her mind, such important details.
Where Brynn will go with this is yet to be seen. But, seeing undeniable evidence that our values are sprouting in her? No matter where she goes with it, I am encouraged and inspired to continue speaking and living truth into both of my girls. Against all odds, it seems that they actually believe me.