Saturday, May 1, 2010

I Wish I Was a Plant

We planted a garden this week. My kids are completely supportive of garden planting in general.  They love picking out the seeds and the little tomatoe plants.  They adore their little rakes and shovels.  They really really love to use the watering can.  There is just one aspect of the whole experience that is lacking in appeal for's the work.  So, after a morning of great gardening anticipation they were met with some dissapointment when our intial ten minutes was spent digging up tangled grass roots and preparing the soil.  And then the sun was hot, and their arms were tired, and they didn't see why we couldn't just plant the seeds. Plus, those pink suede Gymboree boots that my daughter was wearing were making her feet sweaty.  I reminded her that that those were "style" boots, not gardening boots.
 I started noticing more and more frequent breaks were being taken for drinks.  My daughter grimaced as she weakly pulled her mini hand rake through the dirt. 

Then suddenly she stood up and announced "Do you know what mom!?  I think I'd rather go swimming that do this raking!" Then she looked at me with a question in her eyes.  Maybe she thought I hadn't considered the fact that swimming on a hot day was more refreshing than crouching on your hands and knees and digging up roots. I had.  "Yep" I said. "But if we went swimming we wouldn't get a garden."  She sighed and dropped back to the ground to resume her grimacing and raking.

And after a considerable amount of comments about the sun and the heat she convinced her brother to hold and umbrella over her head while she worked.  Which, of course, he was happy to do because that meant his only job was to stand there.  Still, he tried to make it easier by digging a little hole to prop the umbrella in so he could be idle "hands free."
Eventually we did get to the fun part and they were so proud when several hours later they saw the finished product...a planted garden. 
They beamed as though they had never complained at all.  So, we talked about what would have happened if we would have quit when we got hot or tired and how important it is to work hard even when it's a challenge.
And then the next day when I told my son to clean his room he apparently thought about the garden experience.  Reflecting on all that he had learned he said "I wish I was a plant."  Why? "Because if I was a plant I wouldn't have to clean my room.  And I could just sit in the dirt all day."
 People would feed him and water him and he would just relax....I think I really got through to them with this planting project.

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