I was so excited because we have almost three times more space than we did last summer! We use raised beds and a modified version of Square Foot Gardening. I works so great! And it makes the unpleasant things about gardening (weeds, bad soil, etc.) must less unpleasant, which we can all get on board with.
I was also so excited because my girls are old enough to enjoy gardening with us.
I had visions of sharing something so close to my heart with two happy kids and having a ton of fun.
Unfortunately, Square Foot Gardening does nothing to make the unpleasant parts of parenting less unpleasant.
Apparently these two had different plans.
They cried and fought most of the time. Carly bit Hayden. Hayden pushed Carly. Repeatedly. They both whined and cried what felt like non-stop. They had tantrum after tantrum. Ugh. Instead of being fun and relaxing, it was mostly stressful and annoying. I guess that I got carried away in my Good Old Fashioned Family Garden fantasy, and in true Clark Griswold fashion, my expectations far exceeded anything that the actual experience could have been. Two small children with bad attitudes got the best of Clark this weekend.
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't ALL bad.
I got the beginnings a really cool garden out of the deal.
I have a good looking "hired man"...
There was wine in the evening. (Yes, I was drinking wine from a pint Mason Jar. Judge me if you'd like. I drink out of one when we are outside because: a) I want a super-sized wine, b)if I drop it or the dogs or kids knock it over and the jar breaks, I have a bunch and don't care, c)drinking wine from plastic is gross, d) I want a super-sized wine. So there. Judge away. LOL)
These (dirty) little troublemakers even had a glimmer of fun here and there. (They were SO dirty. They looked like they had come directly from the sewers on Les Mis. Their bathwater was black on both evenings.)
In between temper-tantrums and sibling rivalry, they even got some bike riding in.
The garden is still a work in progress. When you are on a limited budget and doing it all yourselves, sometimes progress feels slow. Sometimes it feels like everything just looks torn up and messy. It takes time for things to green up and grow. You feel a little defeated. But then you kind of have a minute where you look around and say, "Wow, we are really getting somewhere! This isn't so bad after all...."
In reality, parenting is a lot like building and growing my garden. They are whining and crying and fighting and you want to pull your hair out. Listening to one try to micro-manage the other's every little move grates on your nerves. Breaking up one more sisterly argument just might send you running right out the front door. Cleaning up mess after mess and listening to tantrum after tantrum puts a kink in your plans.
It feels like you are screwing it up. A lot.
Growing girls is hard.
It requires super-human patience and unwavering commitment.
And then, somewhere in all of it, somethinggood happens and you look around and for a split second, you go, "Wait. There it is. We are going to be okay."
After the weekend we have had, I need that moment. Please let today be my day. LOL
Good thing they are cute.