When I was seven or eight, my parents planted a tree in their front yard. I hovered around while my dad dug the hole, marveling at the thin, fragile trunk and spindly branches. After it was settled in the ground, I stood next to it while he took a photo, and I was the taller one.

That first year, we were all disappointed when our little sapling didn’t turn the promised yellow in the fall; had we gotten a dud? Why did the leaves go straight from green to brown before dropping to the ground?

As it turned out, it just needed some time. Over two decades later, it towers over their house and, as I write this, is a gorgeous, vibrant gold.

This week at Verily, we’re reflecting on patience in growth. One piece about cultivating a healthy body image and another about transcending the physical expectations placed on postpartum mothers emphasize changing our attitudes, rather than our appearances. A longform article tomorrow explores the balance many women are seeking to achieve between caring for their children and investing in a meaningful career. In our Making of a Mom column, a mother reflects on expanding her reservoir of patience—her calm—to share with her children in their difficult moments. And one quirky, fun piece recounts the lessons about friendship and community one author learned from a slow-paced indie video game.

In what ways have you noticed your own gradual or hard-won growth over time? Tell us here