a cherry tastes nothing like a cherry.
it tastes like a plum.
yet all my life, i've thought that a cherry takes like it does in a cherry coke, a cherry-flavored lollipop, or 
queen anne's chocolate covered cherries.

nothing is sweet in a cherry.
but a lollipop, grenadine? wow. pure sugar delight.
how does cherry coke call it "cherry" when it tastes nothing
 like a cherry?

it's the natural verses the artificial. 
natural: real, authentic, consistent, works with process
artificial: sugar-coated, full of flavor, aim to please

a cherry is full of life.
cherry flavor is full of flavor.

i'm always seeing lessons visually.
i bite into the plum...i mean, the cherry
and think of parenting. 

am i a cherry or am i simply flavored?
do i parent from an authentic heart?
or do i aim to please?
have i been picked from the vine?
 or do i keep reaching for more 
 artificial flavoring to satisfy the concoction?

i interacted with another mom recently who was so worn out from pleasing her daughter. and her daughter was six.
i replayed this relationship in my mind and thought this mom pleases for the moment, but keeps reaching for whatever she can to satisfy her daughter. 
she's full of flavor - sweet and sugary, but not authentic.

i then examined my parenting. satisfying my children in the moment is such a quick fix. to give them what they want because i can't think of a better option. to be too tired to care.
to be so caught up in myself that i fail to realize i'm feeding them the artificial stuff.

it's the cherry in the bushel with the pit to spit.
that's the cherry that's been through the process.
the cherry that is being used for its intended purpose.

i want to be authentic. 
i want to walk through the process of parenting 
my children the right way. 
it has all seasons - winter, spring, summer and fall.
yet, it's the consistency, the process, staying connected to the vine that makes all the difference.

grenadine might taste really fine
but i'm giving my kids cherries right off the vine.