Fields of Clover
While I wait to collect my kindergartener I sometimes pass the time looking through the “grass” (people will insist on trying to grow grass in Phoenix) for a 4 leaf clover.
It occurred to me the other day that, given the way we talk about clovers, it’s easy to think that 4 leaf clovers are commonplace.
As evidenced by my failure to find one thus far, I’ve learned that 4 leaf clovers are elusive and rare, and that finding one would truly be a stroke of luck.
This all struck me as being rather similar to another elusive beast- the Ideal Family. Given the way we talk about it, you’d think every family had 2 healthy parents, (a stay-at-home mom and a dad with a great job) and several rosy-cheeked kids.
In practice though, families like that are the exception rather than the rule. Quite often the criticism of LDS discourse about ideal families is met with the argument that one must teach the ideal, otherwise no one will even try to reach it.
I think that it is entirely possible to teach about families with a sensitivity towards the lived reality of the vast majority of people, without giving up on the ‘ideal.’ Perhaps a more thoughtful approach would help us believe that we are not failures simply because we haven’t found the four leaf clover of a perfect family for ourselves. And maybe then we could recognize that most of those Ideal Families come from luck more than anything else.