The Things You Learn In A Garden

Have you ever had one of those days that starts off rough, where you have so many things go wrong before you even leave the house that you’re pretty certain that you’re not going to make it home again at the end of the day, but then something happens that day that takes you back, calms you down and grounds you?

Friday was one of those days for me.  Saying I got up on the wrong side of the bed was an understatement.  Everything triggered a reaction in me.  It started with pouring what I thought was the last cup of day-old coffee and discovering I only had 2/3 of a cup.  I immediately started grumbling to myself,  “Seriously?!?  I’m the only one in the house that drinks coffee!  It’s a 10-cup pot, when, exactly, did I pour 1/3 of a cup preventing me from starting my day with a full, reheated, cup that would tide me over until a new pot was brewed?  Ohhhhhh, whatever!”  I punched the buttons on the microwave and grumbled away.  My husband, trying to be nice, asked what I wanted for breakfast, or rather if I wanted what he was getting for our son.  This question seemed daunting.  The pressure was immense.  You’d think he’d asked what I want to do with the rest of my life.  I mustered up as much tact as I could, then coolly responded, “I don’t know.  I can’t think about that right now.”  The microwave beeped.  Whew!  Coffee was done.  I opened the microwave door to discover I’d set the microwave to reheat a full cup of coffee and my 2/3 cup of coffee had blown-up all over the microwave.  “Perfect.”  I must warn you, usually when I say “perfect”, it’s not in a joyous tone, instead it’s in the “I can’t say what I really want to say because my son is sitting there watching all of this go down” voice.

And so it continued.  I was dropping things, banging into things spilling things, until I finally got out the door.  I carefully drove to drop-off my son, because I was pretty sure the stars were lined up perfectly for me to get into an accident, which would then end up with me either in jail or a mental institution, neither of which would be good.

That morning I was heading to my son’s school garden and honestly I have to say I wasn’t looking forward to it.  That is, until I got there.  Magically, when I stepped out of my car, things seemed to correct themselves.  It was a nice morning, well, a little overcast, but after over a month of 90+ degree days, was pretty nice.  I was meeting a friend at the garden to clean-up some weeds that somehow had grown out of control, do some planting and planning.  During our time together we covered a lot in conversation about our families, our dreams for our kids, our dreams for the school, dreams for the garden and parenting.

“Be the person your kids think you are.”

It was during one of those conversations that my calming, grounding moment came.  My friend and I were talking about our kids and what guides us, my friend mentioned that someone once told her, “Be the person your kids think you are.”  That really struck me.  What a powerful statement.  Whether it’s in our actions or our words, we should take a moment and reflect on whether we are being the person our kids think we are.  Before saying a word, before talking about someone, before making a snide comment, before posting something (that our kids will someday be able to read) on Facebook.  Even if we don’t have any children of our own, we can think about our future child, or a niece, or a nephew or even a child in the neighborhood.

Kids put us on a pedestal, they adore us, they look up to us, don’t let them down.

Great advise.  Thanks, Julie!  I learned a lot in the garden on Friday.


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