"But we are designers!" (I probably should capitalize that "d", forgive me, design professors, for the heresy) "What we envision is supposed to be created the way we envision it! We are the experts! That's what people pay us to do!" Yes, yes, I know. It's true. Those designs, fully realized, are our best spaces. How can we expect a design to succeed if it is never actually implemented correctly and given the chance to be a success? I understand all of this. And we shouldn't stop fighting for our designs to be enacted the Right Way. We should always keep designing, and keep holding tight to the details that make all the difference in the way a place is used and perceived.
But it's worth celebrating the little victories, too, even when the big victories aren't visible. One flower, one tomato plant, one new tree in the ground. Did they put it in the right spot? Maybe. Will it make a difference? Definitely.
It's a success when a three-year-old grabs your arm to give you a tour of their garden. When four-year-olds have to be told to wait and not eat all the sweet peas right away because they won't have a chance to grow big. When a child absentmindedly leans on a redbud, pausing in the shade for a moment.
Here's to the small successes.