Every year I like to put a tremendous amount of effort into growing vegetables only to inevitably watch half of them die, or go to rot because I don’t pick them fast enough, or be overcome by weeds that grow back like hydra heads when I pluck them. It’s fun (?) for me. Out in the sun, earbuds in, digging holes and getting lost in myself for a little bit.
Now I look up at every small sound from the toddler a few feet away. I pat the ground with my shovel as small hands come up beside me and do the same. I shift her small body around, keeping those tiny, unknowingly careless feet from crushing a small plant, only to cause her to fall back in frustration and crush something else entirely.
Even if I wait for her to sleep, I’m constantly checking the monitor, making sure she doesn’t need me, that I didn’t miss something while I did this thing for myself.
Choosing my plants has shifted too. Cucumbers and tomatoes made it into my cart like always, but I also picked watermelons, and peppers, which I do not like, but my daughter does. She’ll get to see them grow, and pick them for herself.
My head is too full of her, and even gardening isn’t something I can do entirely alone anymore. Like so much else of my life it has changed, shifted–but certainly not into anything bad.
Bonus Content: John Green also just made a video about gardening, and after an amusingly roundabout way of saying gardens don’t save any money, declared that he highly recommends it.