If you’re blessed to be a parent to an amazing daughter (or, like me, four), you may know multiple ways to braid hair. And you’ve probably hosted your share of tea parties. You may paint a really mean manicure, especially on your daughter’s dominant hand. And you’re really good at listening (because she often has a lot to say).
But as the proud parent of an amazing young lady, you also need to make sure to take your daughter to a county fair.
I’ve been drowning in waiting for a year’s worth of seasons.
It had been a tough week. I needed simple ways to relax.
As pathetic as it is, I will admit it: We were only 3 weeks into a new school year, and my daughters and I needed another summer vacation.
So last weekend we did the next best thing and made HOME feel like a vacation…
Being raised on a farm affects one profoundly. Being raised on a farm is so acutely part of my dad that his boyhood experiences surface now and again–long after the boy has left the farm–as a personality trait. Farm life is a fiber of his being that sinks down to his achy knees and runs through the weathered veins in his hands, inspiring his knees to painfully plod down hills on the farm and his hands to joyfully cup fresh eggs on any chance he can get.
Dismal disappointments. Problems we can’t fix. Hours of puffy-eyed tears of a parent who can’t take away her child’s pain. Some days are filled with such things. I’ve had a week full of those days. I’m exhausted. I’m prayed out. Prayers that were detailed and descriptive and full of scripture on Monday degenerated to weak silent moans on Friday. But through it all, there was beauty in the sorrow.
Today after pulling into the drive after long hours in the car, after medical tests and doctors visits, and after more questions with only glimmers of peace in the answers, I walked down to the garden.
I am a huge fan of impromptu, unplanned, teachable moments…
One such moment recently was way better than any field trip this homeschool mom could have planned or lesson I could have prepared. Take it from me, if you ever hear a neighbor mention they’re getting bees delivered tomorrow, most definitely ask if you can watch!
Who knows, he may even have extra beekeeper’s gear and ask your daughter to suit up and help.
I make mistakes. A lot of them.
Sometimes I wear a brown belt with black shoes and don’t even notice.
Last week I went to a dentist appointment and didn’t notice I had duck poo smeared on my boots until I propped them up on the end of the long, vinyl dental chair. Truth.
It’s dirty. It makes you sweat. It takes many months of hard work before you ever reap rewards. So is it really possible to enjoy gardening with kids?
I think Robert Brault, an American operatic tenor who must create melodies in a garden as beautifully as he does on stage, answered that question well with a query of his own: “Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden?”
My father has spent seven decades–more than seventy summers–playing in the dirt. He’s taught my daughter and me a thing or two about keeping a garden.
This year, the biggest lessons we’ve learned revolve around growing a garden from seeds. In New England, a gardener must know how to lovingly court seeds on cold winter months if she wants to be engaged in a sweet relationship with the garden on fleeting summer weeks.
Three summers ago we planted our first strawberry plants. Then we moved them. Two times. Two autumns in a row.