Monday, May 3, 2010

Small wonders

Last week I took the girls to the garden center to buy vegetable seedlings to plant and as with every experience in which I am reminded that they are free-wheeling creatures and that I cannot, in fact, tether them by sheer force of will, it was a haphazard experiment in let's override Mama's plan. For example, until those darlings of mine start eating tomatoes and stop calling them potatoes, we do not need one plant of each of the 60 or so breeds the store carries. We compromised with six, and two kinds of sweet pepper and one hot, and some herbs; and then though they weren't on my agenda at all we spent a lot of time carefully selecting the most beautiful, purpliest and pinkest and yellowest petunias and pansies and snapdragons. And given how much free time I want to allot to gardening, unless the plants feed me I don't even believe in annuals. But I do believe in pursuing that which encourages the girls to dig in the dirt, so many pretty flowery things joined the plants that I promise you aren't potatoes.

And we didn't go through the plant selection in an orderly manner and I got so scatterbrained in the business of keeping track of the two girls who were constantly running in opposite directions of the plant selections, which were situated outdoors at the edge of a busy parking lot; and explaining in regard to the shade plants that E wanted to plant under the mailbox that our mailbox gets full southern exposure; and explaining to L that even though that tree has pretty orange in its leaves, it will grow to 30' tall and we are not making that kind of landscaping commitment; that I never even got a basil plant, and tell me, what's the point of a gross overabundance of tomatoes without basil?

Yet despite the chaos that is typical of one of our excursions, we had a grand time exploring all the plants and their vivid colors, scents and textures. And although I purchased a lemon verbena and I have no idea what to do with lemon verbena and I didn't buy a basil and I dream in pesto, I was pleased with our evening adventure. We got in line to pay and the girls spied one more thing to beg for: and though it wasn't on my list and it's another annual, at least it's an edible. Which is how we came home with three each of two different kinds of strawberry plants, and a pretty new planter to put them in, because although I could make allowances to expand our shopping list our garden bed still has finite dimensions. Mentally, I groused a little that the cost of the plants and the planter would probably exceed the value of however many strawberries we could grow, but simultaneously I was pleased at the girls' enthusiasm, and pleased to indulge it.

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Today I took G to daycare for the first time, along with his sisters for the gazbillionth time. He had an easy day, and I had a quiet day, for the first time since his birth, a day without him. I left him and went to snuggle an even newer little human, the lovely Clare, a wise one-week-old soul. She's warm and soft and fluttery light; she's still small enough that you see the miracle of life on her breath.

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I picked up my three children from daycare today. All three greeted me with wide smiles. One gurgled and two chattered. All three were happy. When we got home, I took the kids out on the back porch to show them this:


a tiny, green strawberry.

It was a good day. And tomorrow will be good, too. Pin It