May 14, 2014
When I was pregnant with my oldest and found out I was having a boy, I was terrified. I was just about as girly as you could get. I had no idea what to do with a boy. That was four-and-a-half years ago.
As I was outside with my both of my boys this morning, working in the garden, I had to wonder if I would even have a garden had I had a girl first. As sexist as it is, the only reason I started gardening was to make sure I didn’t pass my “girly” behaviors of running away from bugs onto my son. Had he been a girl, I wouldn’t have even thought about making her comfortable with bugs.
When I started my garden three years ago, I had to fight my inner demons to be out there, covered in dirt. Today, it energizes me to get my hands dirty, make the yard beautiful, and provide food for my family. It amazes me how much I have changed over the past few years all because I was given a boy and the opportunity to grow.
Maybe every parent grows exponentially with each and every child. I don’t know. I only know my own experiences. This boy opens my eyes to so much in life and makes me a better person every day. Today, as I pulled weeds and daydreamed about how great it would be to have software that could record our thoughts so the good ideas could always be recollected, he found a small hole in our fence, which backs up to a greenbelt. He decided it would be the perfect way to feed all the animals in the forest. He sat there for hours putting scraps of weeds and grass through that little hole.
He eventually tired of it and came to me and told me about his animals in his zoo. I asked where their cages were. With eyes full of wisdom, he looked at me and said, “Look around, Mommy. We are the only ones in the cage.”
And with that, I grew a little bit more.
Just to be clear, my younger son makes me grow too. With him, I grow more aware of cleaning up after myself and locking everything behind me, lest he ingest it and have to be rushed to the hospital.
July 4, 2011
One can draw many similarities between a garden and life and its relationships. It is easy to let things get out of control and overgrown. If you don’t pay attention to what you plant, it will never flourish into the amazing life it could be. Stop caring altogether and it is sure to come to a rapid end. Fortunately, the similarities between gardens and life stop at mere metaphor. I am not good at keeping plants alive. I’ll be the first to admit I neglect them. Despite the overwhelming odds against me, I started a garden today.
Now, I may have grown up in small-town Ohio, but I am about the farthest one can be from being a country bumpkin. I had to take several breaks from pulling weeds because there were bugs in the dirt; I didn’t get very close to a pot because there was a slug on it; and when asked if what I saw was a termite, I made reference to the Berenstain Bears. It’s true though, all I know of termites I learned from them. They did not like those pesky bugs eating their treehouse.
Not only am I terrified of bugs, but all together I am not a fan of nature. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being in nature, surrounded by trees, mountains, water, and the like. It is very peaceful and inspires great thoughts. What I am not a fan of is the rest of it; the bugs, birds, fish, various animals that may or may not attack me and give me some horrible disease. If I could be outdoors without all of that, it would be fantastic. In fact, that is what I picture heaven to be; peaceful outdoors without the mosquito bites.
I have come to the conclusion that gardening is much like exercise. I have a really hard time finding the motivation to do it. I will procrastinate until I can not procrastinate anymore to get it started. But, then once I am actually out doing it, it feels really good.
It is very satisfying to work with your hands. I think that is what I was missing when I was working fulltime. I love to use my hands to create things and you just don’t get to do that when you are on a computer all day long. So I used my hands today. I pulled those weeds and have readied the garden for new life.
In addition to planting vegetables we often eat like eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and sweet peas we are also planting pumpkins and a nice little herb garden. Given my track record with plants, I will need nothing short of a miracle to keep these alive. Since we live in Seattle, I am counting on a lot of assistance from the Big Guy upstairs. At least I know the plants will get plenty of water. I have a feeling that many of my thoughts will be aimed toward St. Fiacre for the next few months. Wish me luck.