Growing a Garden

Our garden is growing without my help. I didn’t till the ground or plant the seed. I haven’t watered it or even looked at it very often. Frankly, I haven’t cared.

But my kids have.

It was Noelle’s idea. She’s nine years old and growing up far too fast. She helped my wife decide what to plant and has continued to show a great deal of concern for the garden’s growth.

Bradley, Jonathan, and Matthew (8, 7, and 7) have also been interested in the garden. While they haven’t worked as much on it as Noelle, they have at least been around when work was being done. It turns out that they all like to dig in the dirt.

Mary Hope has even gotten into the act. Well, as much as a three-year-old can get into the act. She has been there while work is being done; sometimes digging, sometimes sitting.

Their mommy and gramps (my dad) have worked in the garden with them. But not their daddy.

I’ve been at work. Or visiting people at the hospital. Or resting.

I simply don’t care about growing a garden.

But I do care about growing my children. 

My children need me. They need to see me caring about what they care about. They need me to teach them lessons about hard work and perseverance. They need me to share laughs and stories with them as we unite around a common goal.

The garden will probably grow the way it is supposed to grow even if I am not involved with it.

My children will not.

They need me to care about their garden because they need to know that I care about them.

(Do you like to garden? In what ways to do show the people in your life that you care? Share away!)

Mary Hope sitting in the garden
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36 thoughts on “Growing a Garden

  1. The closest I’ve come to enjoying gardening is caring about the banana tree in our back yard. It turned brown over the winter (as they tend to do) and when I saw my neighbor trimming his back, I decided to do the same.

    Then Sophie got involved and pulled all three trees down. Great, I thought, Sophie gets to learn a lesson in deforestation. Silly dog.

    Then they started growing. Seven of them, and the three she pulled down grew bigger than they were last year. So, I’ve kept to watering them whenever I think about it, and Sophie hasn’t pulled down any more, so I think we’re good.

    This from the guy who used to complain voraciously about having to help my folks with their yardwork (in reality, it was my punishment for not having anything better to do on a weekend).

  2. Dude! That is one serious-looking garden. I would run, hide, beg, borrow & steal to stay away from something that big. I would claim a funeral every day. I would say I needed to ride my bike for visitation. I would say I have a headache (hey it works for..well…you know). But I have no desire any more to work in a garden, especially one that big. On the more serious side: you do make a good point about taking care of your children. Nurture them well my friend.

  3. I love gardening! That is, I love eating the fruits of someone else’s labor. I’ve given it up due to a severe black thumb, and let the husband take care of it. (I wish I had a green thumb, but I didn’t inherit that from my grandma.) Sadly, our girls have never taken much interest in it. When I was a kid, we used to fight over who got to dig up potatoes! So, we have to look for other ways to grow our kiddos.

  4. Wow, that’s not a garden. That’s a farm! Love how you described this on twitter: A post of loving people enough to do things you despise

  5. As long as my wife and I are the ones nurturing, teaching and leading our children, I don’t have a problem. If someone else is nurturing my children, I will be surprised of the fruits they will bear. 90% of the time, showing up and giving them the attention they deserve is what’s important.

  6. Not a gardener nor do I like to work in the yard. Luckily my husband does – but he only does what he has to – in order to keep our yard from looking yucky – like mowing, weeding etc. But our backyard is not what it could be if someone really had a passion for it like we don’t. I enjoy people more and investing into them.

  7. I don’t have a green-thumb at all, but my Mom most definitely does. It’s kind of like therapy for her if that makes sense.

    I show people that I care by just spending time with them, and listening.

  8. No green thumb for me. Interestingly enough, even though my main love languages are words of affirmation and physical touch, I typically show people I can by getting away one on one with them. Some good quality time is my favorite way to pour into someone.

  9. I’m not a gardener. My mom loves to grow flowers, so she tends her gardens (Dad did too when he was alive). I’d rather take photos of the flowers Mom grows. That’s my favourite part of gardening.

  10. We did a garden last year…built an above ground thing and all. Then the termites came. Game over! So, we are now sticking to just potted gardens. 🙂

  11. That is a HUGE garden plot. I am glad you included a small child in the photo to provide a comparison. But how do you keep the deer and rabbits out? When we first moved to our present suburban abode from Large City, one of the first things I wanted to do was grow tomatoes. The plants grew, flowered, and produced. And one day, ONE DAY, I tell you, before I intended to pick the ripe tomatoes, some creature ate them. I gave up on vegetable gardening.

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