Gardening with kids is great. There are no two ways about it. It’s a wonderful time to bond, the perfect environment for learning…it’s even the ideal opportunity for learning the discipline of work — to a point.
My kids garden with me, though usually not of their own volition. Because while harvesting is fun, weeding is not. But it is required. So as any good mother would, I’ve tried to make it more palatable, more enticing. Simple and easy is our motto. No longer do I inform, We need to weed the garden. Rather I’ve shifted to the less intimidating, You each have one half a row to weed. Sounds more tolerable, doesn’t it? “A half row? That’s it?”
“That’s it,” I reply, knowing that with my new and improved weed management system, a single row is all I need from them. I take a row or two myself — very manageable business, now that I’ve covered my beds in mulch, and my aisles in paper. It’s perfect and easy. What could be better?
What could be better? Obviously I didn’t ask a kid that question! Playing in the sprinklers on a hot day could be better! Much better, and is exactly what transpired when my daughter and her friend offered to help me in the garden (actually to hurry me up so I would take them to lunch).
Their initial duty was to put in a few transplants, water them in, then give the corn and beans some extra water. It’s getting hot in Florida, so I need to make sure my plants get enough moisture to survive the 90 degree days. Long days.
“Mom, can we put our bathing suits on and run through the water?”
It occurred to me as they pitched the idea, these were long hot days for them, too. And seeing’s how their clothes were already soaking wet, I agreed. “Might as well.”
When they returned and started high-tailing it down rows, it didn’t even occur to me to be concerned they might slip and fall and devastate my plants! How could it? The spectacle of these girls racing down one row and up the next was too funny — this was pure unadulterated fun in the making!
And I was drawn in, reminded of my own childhood antics. Give a kid a puddle and they’ll make it a hoopla day long of fun.
Fun, I mused. Kids do remind us adults to have fun. Where we may think, stop and smell the roses, they disagree. Stop and run through a sprinkler — now that’s living.
I watched for a while then shook my head, returning focus to my task at hand. I still had a row of peppers to plant before we could make that lunch I promised. Would they remember? Probably. That’s another thing about kids. They don’t forget a thing when it’s something they want to do.