Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So, I'm Like A Gardener Now

I spent the morning weeding y'all. Weeding what, you may ask? And the answer to that would be, my garden.

Well, I mean it isn't all my garden. It is a whole bunch of people's garden. A bunch of homeschool moms who all traipse out to this sweet woman's property to work together on a community garden. Thank you Alicia for opening your home and property to us all week after week. And for watering when we aren't there. And for sharing your various animals with my poor, citified children who wouldn't have the opportunity to enjoy such critters without your generous open arms policy. (Or should I say open cages?) Yes, Alicia and her darling children have introduced my children to the country life-- complete with bunnies, and chickens, and pet rats, and guinea pigs. They walk around the entire time with some sort of critter perched on their shoulder or cradled in their arms. And if my camera wasn't presently broken, I would share the photos to prove it.

We planted the garden two weeks ago on a Wednesday-- and it was just a lovely day. We soaked up the sunshine and got dirt in our fingernails and muddied our knees and learned how to plant tomatoes and various other veggies and herbs. But don't get me wrong-- I am just in it for the tomatoes. I learned about planting techniques and types of soil and square foot gardening and all kinds of things as I stretch my horizons a bit by finally learning how to be a gardener. Because I come from a long line of gardeners and figured that it was time I pick that baton up and run with it. And because I knew the experience would be good for my children. Which of course it has-- even if my six year old did take one look at the weeds today, wrinkle his nose and announce he was going to play with his friends. So basically we moms work on the garden and share stories and get to know each other while the kids play with Alicia's animals and just generally frolic about. A good time is had by all, each Wednesday weeding day, in our garden.

Today I stood up and just watched my kids, soaking in the moment and the sounds of laughter, the feel of the breeze and the warm spring sunshine. I watched my two year old strolling her baby doll across the yard and the six year old letting the rat with pink eyes crawl down his shirt. ("Wanna pet him, mom?" "No, no thank you honey.") I memorized their faces-- the way her blonde ponytail bobbed along in the breeze, the way his brow furrowed as he studied the rat. I wanted to stop time, but of course I couldn't. So instead I stopped myself long enough to really see, to really appreciate the precious moment I was allowed to have with my kids today, while gardening. There was mud caked under my fingernails and my pants were covered in mud. My back hurt from bending over the rows, digging in the mud to root out the weeds. And yet, I could think of no better place to be except there, in the garden, with my kids on a warm spring day. Grateful for the chance to participate in this community of moms and kids, all working together in an activity as old as time.
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Rona said...

I want to be a gardener, too. For tomatoes, and cukes and squash, oh my.

Pauline said...

Good job, MaryBeth! I love your musings. Do enjoy those times with your little ones in the garden. It is amazing what the outdoors does for children--and their moms! And even if they don't actually help, it will be a great memory for them.

4torock said...

We missed out from weedin' because of sick little boys :( So hope to see ya next time- I am so glad I am not the only new to gardening girl there!! lol Great seeing you other day too- told ya.... where you go I go!! te hee!!