Picture this: A woman wearing boots, jeans, and a cowgirl hat drives her truck packed with three kids into the garden center parking lot to fill the bed with a peach tree, five flowering bushes, four shrubs, soil, tomato plants, strawberry plants, and bags of mulch. This was my Saturday.
My vision was for my kids to experience gardening like I had growing up. I also wanted to toss in the opportunity to upgrade our backyard landscaping before the Texas heat sets in. What actually happened is that two of my kids started digging random holes in the grass while my other one, the boy who HATES getting dirty, refused to be involved.
Of course about an hour in, the ADD set in and bing-bang-boom we have an worm collection. I dragged an empty aquarium outside and it was quickly filled with countless worms, rolly pollies, and all things dirt-dwelling. They even watered their aquarium when I watered the strawberries. After all, “whomes gotta dink too.”
They all three enjoyed getting their little gloved fingers in the garden, and I have the seeds planted to prove it. Hopefully between the squash, lettuce, bell peppers, hot peppers, cantaloupes, cucumbers, strawberries and three kinds of tomatoes… something will survive. But realistically, even if they all fail, the experience made the 8-hours of labor worth it. The constant, “my gloves are dirtier than your gloves” battles made me laugh.
A few years ago days like that would have killed me. As a perfectionist and a planner, when I set out to do something, by God, it was gonna happen. Somehow, three kids have changed that mindset a bit. After all, Saturday I set out to teach them about the life cycle of a tree and ended up with a bonus– a tank of creatures that like slithering in filth. Go figure.