Earlier in the year I made plans and rented a bed in a community garden.  My thought was tending to the garden would be a novel (and almost free) way to connect as a family over the summer.  Also, I love fresh, juicy, garden grown tomatoes.  Good intentions were there front and center during my initial decision making process and then, life happened and I neglected the bed all spring because (spoiler alert!!) we are busy.  I was starting to doubt that we’d make any use of it and was berating myself for overcommitting and under delivering in the ‘fun mom with cool ideas’ category.  Thankfully, the Executive Director of the non-profit that runs the garden reached out and asked if I’d like some help getting started because our bed was currently overgrown with weeds.  And with that, my kids and I had plans for an early evening of weeding.

Two days later with our weeding date looming, I was, again, questioning all the logic and reason I have left.   It had been a long day. I was hot and hungry.  So were the kids.  My capacity for taking care of One. More. Thing. was nonexistent.  The LAST thing on Earth that I wanted to do was pick weeds.  I tried to hype it up enthusiastically with the kids and they weren’t even 50% on board:

“Wait, is this a farm?”

“Are there animals?”

“Do I have to weed?”

“What kind of farm is this?”

I drove past the non-descript entrance to the farm no less than three times.  Each time I made a k turn, I assured the kids that “I know where it is now.” while also muttering swears at the pleasantly voiced gps lady.  We drove down a rocky make shift driveway and were greeted by a breathtaking view and a friendly golden retriever named Hannah. We made it.

The kids in their rain boots jumped out of my car one by one. We made swift introductions before we were handed shovels and rakes and ill-fitting garden gloves.  The boys happily brought the wheel barrel out of the greenhouse and over to collect last season’s remains as they were lifted from the dirt, roots in tact.  We labored together and made quick work of the weeds.

Eliza sporadically wanted to be reminded of the dog’s name. “That’s a cute doggy.  That’s a nice doggy.” She said to no one in particular.

Zac was not once told to get out of the dirt and savored every minute of his filthy freedom.

Noah didn’t want to leave until every last speck of weed was removed and the dirt level.

I didn’t want to leave either.

This is the good stuff. I want more of this. This is my hope for summer.

Wide open spaces.

Wide open spaces.