I'm not just talking about seedlings, although this is a post about gardening. My kids are growing too, faster than I even realize sometimes. Will is at that fun stage where he's learning to talk, and it's becoming very clear that he understands so much more of what's being said than he can verbalize. He can follow instructions like "Go get Mr. Monkey from behind the couch!", or "Where's the red ball? Can you bring it to Dad?"
So when it was time to sow the seeds for our summer vegetable garden, I thought we should do it together. I expected Will to try to eat the dirt and seeds, dump the watering can on himself, and wander off, but I figured I'd explain what I was doing and give him a chance to help.
And you know what? He did!
He helped push the peas down into the soil after I showed him, carefully pressing each one into the dirt.
He watered the seeds and not himself.
He helped carry the seed packets. He even tried to help turn the soil, but seemed to realize that the shovel was kind of heavy.
The result? Our seed distribution may be a little special this year, and, well, there were a couple areas that got watered perhaps more than necessary. But we had a ton of fun, and we really did do it together. I didn't really know until we tried that Will would be able to copy me and push the seeds into the soil, or help use the watering can. But he did, and he only ate one, even though peas are his favorite vegetable. (That's why we're planting them.)
It made me realize that in order to find out what Will was capable of, I needed to give him the opportunity to show me. If I hadn't thought that he could help plant the seeds, and shown him how, I wouldn't have gotten to see him push those peas into the dirt with such focus.
And now, when we go out every day (even in the rain) to check and see if our seeds have sprouted, I wonder if maybe he really knows what we're doing. Either way, we're both having fun!
A big difference from the little guy who watched us build our garden bed from a blanket last year :) Here's to spring, and all the wonderful things that grow!
UPDATE: Our seedlings have sprouted, and the spinach definitely needs to be thinned! This made me laugh :)