This is really a story about the beauty of a child. For children can’t help but be beautiful when we slow down enough to let them share that beauty.
“Where are you Vi?”
“I am in here on the potty. Will you read my bug book to me?” Vi implores.
I start to panic, it is 7am and I have my full morning of timely responsibilities pressing on me. I know if I stop to read to Vi, everything will run late.
Sadly I tell her “maybe later” feeling like I say that way to often.
Happily later that very afternoon I remember the bug book. We snuggle up for a good read of this brightly illustrated lift-the-flap book about all kinds of bugs. Vi is so snuggly and enjoying the book so much it is pure delight to be with her. I suggest that we go bug hunting after reading our book. Bug hunting will get us outside to plant the pea seeds we had planned to put in the ground that afternoon.
With the book finished we head out to the garden for good old fashion bug hunting. At first we don’t see any bugs despite Vi calling “B-U-G-S” in a sing-song voice. I ask Vi where the bugs in the book were and she remembers that bugs like to hide.
“There’s a rock Mommy!” Vi points.
We lift up the rock and are rewarded with a wriggly earthworm.
“There’s another!” Vi exclaims.
On it goes until we exhaust our supply of rocks. Now that we are outside I suggest that it is time to plant pea seeds we had planned to put in the ground that afternoon.
“That sounds great mommy!”
While I go to get the compost for amending the soil, Vi waits for me bouncing on the trampoline. We, are as usual, are a few weeks late in our pea planting. Sometimes it takes a while to get around to these kind of things. And, I am feeling anxious to get the soil prepared and the seeds in the ground so we can enjoy the best harvest from our garden. Also, in that moment, I feel the lateness of the day and dinner is starting to loom as well as other things that need my attention. I pull myself back to the moment and the task at hand.
After a bit of struggle I make it to our garden with a big bag of compost. Vi and I start to shovel the compost into the garden. As I had anticipated, Vi loves this. She has a blast with each shovel full talking constantly about the dirt and how to grow plants. After a bit she remembers two little pots which have been the focus of her attention over the past few weeks. Into these little pots she had carefully placed soil, dug from the garden beds; planted little seeds from around the yard and two pea seeds given to her by me upon request. She insists that these pots need compost of their own and I agree. I get the rest of the compost into the garden while she works on her pots. Still talking, she tells me long stories about seeds and how to keep them healthy.
After a bit I get her attention to plant the seeds. At first it goes well. We decide that I will poke the holes and she will drop in the seeds. We hum along for a bit and she is pretty well focused. But then we hit a snag and start to have an argument over how she is holding the seeds in her hand and how I am poking the holes. Deep breath for me and I realize that I am getting grouchy and am pretty much the cause of our distress. I look at her sweet brown eyes so earnest and loving and at her little pudgy dirt covered hands and I let go. There is nothing here to be concerned about. Just the beauty of a darling little girl and her desire to help, her desire to experience. I realize that it doesn’t have to be perfect and that I can’t make it perfect because it already is. We finish planting our peas and set up the sprinkler to water our new “babies.” I breathe again, a breath of gratefulness for the chance at motherhood. With our garden started and a mommy lesson learned, I know this year the peas harvest will be the best ever.
I wrote this late last spring, Have been waiting and waiting to share it! Now we are close again to pea planting time and I thought the time was right at last to share this story. In anticipation of earlier pea planting this time around, Vi and I are attempting to sprout our peas in the window before we plant them in the ground. We took some peas left over from last year, put them in plastic bags with wet cotton balls. First we soaked them overnight in water and then used that water to wet our cotton balls.
Then we sealed them and now they are in the window. We will watch and wait to see how it goes.
I am hoping for little roots and leaves to show themselves soon.
When the peas are ready we can transplant to the yard. The pea seed package I have says not to pre-sprout indoors, but I figure it is an experiment and like anything in life, you just gotta try to see what happens…