It was amusing, the way Zander obsessed over every detail of the young Velvet Mesquites we planted two February's ago. "Silly boy!" said I. He poured over his library and internet research. He wielded the small pruners like a Bonsai master. He contemplated over the future of these trees. He envisioned their role and purpose for our family and home. He wanted them to bear pods for flour making, shade for the backyard, home for wildlife, and be aesthetically pleasing. The way that boy fussed over these saplings. At first he made sure to tether them to stakes, giving them support as they bore the shock of their transplant into our yard. Over time, he gradually loosened the tethers so the trunk and branches could flex against the wind and grow strong. He made sure not to make erroneous cuts, structuring it mostly up. But then he would noticed a unique branch that looked harmless, but interesting. "Eh, we'll see what this guy wants to do. It looks cool". So he would leave it be and let it go on its natural way. His methods were his, not always/ever the prettiest, but always the most thoughtful.
It dawned on me the other day. He can't get away from his father's heart. He is out there giving considerable thought to these trees and often stops to admire just how strong and beautiful they are becoming. And so it goes with his children, his own little saplings. He always carries with him the pruners, knowing that every cut to a tree is a wound. He doesn't use them without love and care. He tethers Ender and Cora close to us, now, but is gradually loosening those so they too can flex against the winds and grow strong and confident. A breeze barely ruffles Cora's curls today, but eventually she could face a gale storm, but because of her daddy's tender and wise care, her roots will cement the ground she stands on and her strong body will bend but will not break. They both will have that wild hair daddy let sprout, but will be mostly growing up.
Happy Father's Day to the legendary Zander.