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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Garden - A Parenting Parable Review





Living and parenting in an age of chronic stress, anxiety and distraction, what does it take to raise children to thrive, not just survive? Through the metaphor of flowers as children, the story of The Garden is a powerful and poignant parable about the essential process of tending, trusting and growing strong roots. A story told with resplendent illustrations, The Garden shows us how to reclaim and cultivate the transformative power of relationship, and reminds us to enjoy the process, through exploring our own stories, fears and expectations, and marvel at our children's growth as we learn to hold, let go, and respect each child's unique nature.
Lu's writing always touches tender places in my heart, and The Garden is no exception. This is a short, easy read but leaves a beautiful impression. Interwoven in this lovely parable, the author eases our fears as a parent, tells us in the most gentlest way possible to not look to other families and compare ourselves to them, our children to their children, because each is unique and needs it's own special blend of love and care to thrive. She warns us of getting trapped in the loop of noticing imperfections or wishing our child was different somehow. Then she asks the question we all ask in our parenting journeys - How can I get my flowers to bloom more quickly and stay open longer? Acknowledging that there is no magic formula, not for gardens or for children, Lu shows us how to relax and enjoy the process as we tend to our own families, and that even though we may not be perfect at it, our flowers will bloom if we lovingly tend to them every day. "The miracle grows where the eye can't see...in the strong roots underground that reach deep into the black earth with long tributaries of trust, anchoring the garden above to grow with the changing seasons, trampling of sneakers, silent snowfalls and spring thaws."

Beautifully illustrated and written, The Garden is a lovely reminder to have on your bedside table. There is something ever so soothing and grounding about this little book. I hope you'll pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did.


Lu is an award-winning writer, author, educator, speaker, television host, brain science geek, creativity crusader, and most grateful mama of two boys. She is the author of the acclaimed book "Let the Baby Drive: Navigating the Road of New Motherhood," former NBC anchor and Discover Health Channel host of Make Room for Baby. For five years, she hosted The Science Show, syndicated in 11 countries. She currently co-hosts a dynamic educational television program for youth in New York called Liberty Treehouse.

Lu's essays and articles have been published in The New York Times, Mothering, Parenting, Fit Pregnancy and Redbook.  Lu and the amazing Tanya Leonello collaborated on a previous book, "Picnic on a Cloud," a children's story about what happens when connection and imagination join forces. Lu is founder of WYSH Wear Your Spirit for Humanity, her socially conscious initiative and newly minted studio awarded "Best of South Jersey." She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two boys. You can find Lu on Facebook on her page Parent2ParentU.

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