Thursday, September 16, 2010

Garden Time with Boo

File photo of sunset from our backyard 11/08,
before any other houses were built behind us

The Garden Calendar Strikes Midnight
Crazy enough, I have been waiting for yesterday, September 15, since July. Trust me, I enjoyed myself in the meantime with summer & a hundred other things. But the 15th marks the official plant date for snap peas and lettuce seeds, and after dinner last night that is exactly what I did!

I think I will have access to my photos again very soon, at which point I will be able to show you
  • the peppers I planted in July,
  • the artichokes that may or may not ever do anything besides keep getting bigger and thistlier,
  • the watermelon vine that experienced a renaissance after the death of summer,
  • the cantaloupe started from seeds of a great Kroger melon,
  • and the crazy lima bean plant from Rooster's preschool project that just keeps making lima beans. I wish my dad were closer because he is the only person I know who admits to liking lima beans, and we have them in spades.

This reminds me that I now have a list of three things I'm going to have to learn how to cook and like them if I want to garden in Texas: lima beans, peppers, and okra. Those all grow like gangbusters here, so while I intend to keep growing other things, I may as well go with the native crops too. But if you happen to know how to cook any of those three things, please let me know!

My new garden additions as of last night, which I will also share photos of as soon as I figure out that new network photo drive thingy, include lettuce, peas, and cauliflower. I feel like a proud mama all over again!

File photo of someone else's artichoke plant

Tending a Different Kind of Garden

And speaking of "Mama," I had a great evening gardening and talking with Boo since the Captain went out with some friends and Rooster put himself to bed for the night before dinner. Lulu got herself filthy from head to toe played in the yard while we worked the dirt, scattered seeds, and shelled lima beans.

At one point Boo said,
"Wouldn't it be so amazing if, when Lulu grows up, she ends up being a gardener because she has spent so much time out here watching us in the garden?"

Yes, it would be amazing.

What's just as amazing is watching this eight-year-old child grow into herself. She is developing quite an interest in gardening and science, just as I have always hoped. She has taken quite an interest in the lima beans (have I mentioned they are quite vigorous?) and last night decided she would like to start selling the lima beans:

"...and I'll set out a little stand right next to Kroger so people can come to me and get their lima beans, and you can come and check on me like once an hour, to see if I'm selling any and if I need you to go home and bring me some more..."

My dad will be so proud.

I am even more proud of one other thing she brought up last night out of the blue:

"Mom, would you ever force me to be friends with a mean person?"

I had to stop and think about that one. So, as I do whenever I'm stumped about the right answer to a difficult childhood question, I thought about what the Bible would say. And I was able to share this attempt at kid-size theology:

In the Bible, in Proverbs, we learn that a wise person chooses his friends carefully, but someone who hangs out with people who make bad decisions usually ends up making bad decisions too. So generally, you need to choose to stay away from friendships with mean people.

However, people who love God are also supposed to share that love with the people around them. And how will mean people ever learn God loves them if everyone who loves God refuses to be their friend?

Then I learned that she had a specific friend in mind, not the one I had thought she was referring to. I was impressed to realize that she is showing discernment in her interactions with this friend.

For the record, I think by mean Boo refers to that whole range of immature behaviors that are common to kids. Most kids, including Boo, behave mean some of the time. But in her question, I think she was trying to assess how much control she has over her friendships.

Together we strategized how she can be friendly with this girl, who has nice qualities but also some pretty typical elementary mean moments, without being drawn into the friend's habits. One way is by inviting her to come to our house, and planning some structured activities that we can work on together.

I am really looking forward to this. For four weeks I have intended to start planning a variety of after-school activities for my kids, such as baking, kitchen science, and crafts. Not only does it help me spend intentional time with them, but it helps structure the hour after school when our neighbor hangs out until her mom gets home. Now I am starting to catch a vision of having the house open to my kids' friends and getting to pour a little love on them at the same time as I make memories with my daughter.

I am so proud of how she is growing up, and I look forward to seeing where she grows next.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's a tough question. Good idea to look to the Bible for your answers.

    And I love your words about the garden -- we spend a lot of time outdoors in the yard and garden here, too -- I love that the boys are so into nature.

    And I just have to say, holy artichoke -- that thing is huge! I guess I've only seen artichokes pucked and laid out in the grocery store!


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