Make It A Family Affair: Gardening With Your Children
Another busy weekend approaches with my two children, so I mentally prepare for the activities--my daughter's volleyball practice, my son's Science Club meeting, a trip to the grocery store--and that's just Saturday. What I need to do is garden. Not only is my yard overdue for fresh flowers, but my soul needs gardening meditation. When did I last shop for garden plants?
s parents today, we somehow over-plan our free time and over-accept social invitations. What happened to the times when we were young? We would look forlornly at our mom and dad and, with complete sincerity, utter the words, "There's nothing to do." Maybe our gaming systems have stolen our ability to daydream. Maybe our smartphones make it too easy to text "yes" to every birthday party invitation. Maybe we have forgotten how to give our children some quiet time. I pondered this as we drove around town.
Making memories with children in the garden
Sunday morning came, and I looked upon my neglected yard from the kitchen. It then dawned on me. What did I crave most for my children and myself? We needed an odd, stay-at-home-with-nothing-to-do day. That lasted only a short time as sibling bickering began halfway through pancakes. Instead, I told them to throw on old clothes and meet me outside to get dirty. They complained at first with images of hard labor, but once I pulled out the small shovel and plastic rake, plus some trimming shears for me, it was pretty simple. Although they were "working" in the garden, they were also playing with snails, digging their hands into the dirt, pouring water on each other, and laughing, not to mention working up a sweat.
Next, we headed out to buy a few garden plants, colorful flowers, and some cool-weather vegetables. It would be enriching for them to watch something grow from a tiny plant to a mature vegetable. They would eat that meal knowing they made it happen with their own two hands. That potato would be the best potato they had ever tasted.