Sunday, June 15, 2008

THIS is our life-- this is it.

The sunshine returned, at least for today, and it was a true Northwestern summer day. What a great Father's Day for P-daddy. We all kicked into gear. All of us. Even G-girl, inspired, totally organized and cleared the school room shelves from the chaos of a month or so of new deliveries and neglect.

It's 7 PM and I am a little shocked by that. I remember this clearly from last year: "How did THAT happen?" I came in only because I got smacked with stinging nettle and had to take care of that before the burning got any worse.

The content of the day--the laundry list of what we did without even leaving the house-- including leisurely loafing, showering and chatting on the net, is huge. I LOVE this life. The kids spent all day outside, swinging and then riding bikes with each other and with their parents.

N-man's daisies are blooming to beat the band this year. He planted them in his special garden when each big kid had their own garden plot. They take a couple of seasons to mature, and he abandoned the plot last year. Now they are standing tall, looking for all the world like a floral square in the grass, as he had planted them around the outside of his little garden. He's so ecstatic and proud.

The kids, the neighbor girl, P-daddy and I cleared the weeds from the gardens outside the kids' room. Their view has always been a bit dismal, despite the beautiful trees bordering the yard and the climbing rose between their two rooms. That side is where we store the trashcans, the recycling, the wood cradles and the lawn equipment. It's easy for the winter months to turn that into a dumping ground, and I don't like that my children see only that through their windows. We got all the seeds planted, some of the garden art in, and a pretty clear plan for the rest of the next month. The girls even wild harvested some transplants of bleeding heart and foxglove for the backdrop.

We moved on to the herb / rose garden, where it was just G-girl and I. The boys had been drawn to the grill where P-daddy was preparing ribs, and she was still fully invested in being in the garden with me. The herbs were in a horrible state of overrun; this year the herbs will finally be "organic," as that was a very bare, formal garden when we moved in. Anyone who has transitioned from chemical fertilizers and herbicides to natural methods can appreciate the crazy weedage out there. (We really need to invest in a truckload of compost / mulch but I need to see how much that would cost before even thinking about it. )

G and I worked steadily together, chatting and marveling at all the babies we've gotten from letting the herbs seed out. Maybe not this year, but definitely next, we will have at least a partial English garden out there. And she gets it. This is the part of watching her grow that dispels some of the heartache of losing that small child. She's growing into this unique, feisty person who not only shares some of my interests, but knows she does. We connect on levels that one could cultivate with new friends, and I think that bodes well for staying connected as she grows into an adult.

As we worked-- before my nettle encounter-- I told her "I love this. I hope we garden together for the rest of our lives."

I so mean it.