In my growing quest to find something that engages both Callum and me, I thought I found something ideal that combines mud, water, and learning: gardening. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that it also takes more than a little bit of gentleness and precision. Well, at least the way I started trying to practice it.
We went out to Home Depot a few weeks ago, and picked up a few packets of seeds. Cantalope, basil, rosemary, carrots. All kind of fun things, I thought, and I’ve never been successful in growing anything from seed, so it’d be a challenge for me, as well.
I pulled out our little seedling box (last used here) and we started pouring water over it — Callum’s favorite part. Then, we got out the seeds and started pushing them into the soil. Callum did pretty well with that, though he wanted to keep pouring water and playing in it. I had to help him get some of the seeds under the surface, but he kept pushing and pushing, and they were soon subsumed.
We’ve been checking their progress every day and little green things started poking up a few days ago. (I only vaguely know what they are, because wrangling Callum prevented me from actually labeling anything — for him the little stick labels just made great handles to pull the soil pod out of the foam holder.) When I show Callum the new seedlings, he mostly seems interested in dousing them with more water (or milk), and wants to re-do the pushing-into-the-ground part of the process. “No!,” I say firmly, and put the plastic cover back on the bio-dome thing.
So, we’ll see if we actually get these things into the ground, and whether we produce anything worth crowing about, even if we do. All the same, it’s been fun. And there’s something about watching seed turn into plant that’s just so life-affirming. Still, I’m searching for more weekend activities for the boy and me. (Next up: martial arts!)