Monday, August 31, 2009

Let the Pasta Get Mushy and Take the Long Way Home

I think I pulled every weed on our property this weekend. Nah, I just wish I did. If you live anywhere in the mid-atlantic you know we got the rain of all rains this past Friday and Saturday nights. I mean inches. The police had to shut down the far end of our hollow because the creek was so high it covered the road. Big rain. Love it. Not so great if you were getting married this weekend, but other than that, the earth needed it and the skies delivered.

I had a bunch of projects planned for this weekend. Canning peach BBQ sauce, helping my daughter re-design her sandals (the puppy removed the beadwork), and planning an Alopecia presentation for my son’s class were some of the projects I had hoped to accomplish. Cleaning out the barn (it flooded several storms ago), catching the escapee chicken (she needs her wing clipped), and planting my fall crops (spinach, lettuce, and a cover crop over the part of the garden that is finished) were all things on my agenda. None of them got done. Not one. What got done was the weeding that was incredibly overdue. I weeded all day Saturday and Sunday in between taking my daughter to play rehearsals and my boys to soccer practice and games. When it was all done, the pick up truck bed was completely filled with weeds right up to the top of the cab. Think I put off the weeding too long?

That’s the thing about raising plants and raising children, you have to seize the moment. And sometimes you have to take what you can get. There were plenty of hours this past month when I could have weeded the gardens, but the ground was too hard and the sun too hot to make it worth my while. I had to wait for the big rain to make my job easier. Seems to work the same way with kids. It’d be great if they could share quality time with me according to my agenda, but when I try to force it I get monotone answers and annoyed responses. How was the bus ride? Fine. Was anybody being mean? No. Are you sure? I don’t know, what’s for snack? So I wait for the right moment. Car rides and early evening when I’m frantically preparing dinner seem to be the moments my children choose for real discussions. I’ve learned to let the pasta get mushy or take the long way home.

We have to wait for our moment. And sometimes when that moment presents itself we will be forced to cast aside plans in order to make the most of it. I tend to hang around in the kitchen a lot hoping for these moments. Our kitchen is the heart of our house. It’s where everyone is. My son spreads out his dungeons and dragons on the table, my husband opens his laptop on the counter, my daughter dabbles on the piano, and my youngest tears in and out chasing the puppy and scavenging for food. Our place is pretty big and there are plenty of nooks to claim some privacy, yet everyone congregates in the kitchen. So that’s where I am. By being present I am available. And that’s what I think kids need most. An adult who cares about them and is available. An adult who is ready to drop what she is doing and listen or act, as the need may be.

My kids are at school, but my garden needs me too. Today I’ve got to seize the moment and get my fall seeds in. I’d planned on posting about seed saving or a green product I’ve discovered, but it’s gorgeous outside and the garden needs me. So I’ll offer a little object lesson on living organically and instead of sitting here spouting off stories, advice, or ideas, I’m going to go get my hands dirty. Living organically, raising children, and growing things all require flexibility and spontaneity. But most of all they require that we stop thinking about it and get to work. So that’s what I’m going to go do.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this post, Cara! You are inspiring in your wisdom!