I come from a long line of agricultur
ists - my father was a landscaper, my grandfather and both my great-grandfathers were master gardeners to noble families in Europe - and I often tell my children that gardening is in their blood.
"Ewww, get it out!"
My 8-year-old son has this habit of taking things literally, lately.
So, anyway, what I was trying to say is that I grew up surrounded by flower beds and falling in love with the sweet smell of wet dirt. It's intoxicating, really. A lot of people ask me why I put some much time and effort into gro
wing vegetables, when we are surrounded by farm markets and super-shop-and-drops, and I smile, nod and just say that it makes me happy.
Okay, to make a long story short (I know, too late) our love for digging in the dirt is infectious - my husband has also developed a rather green thumb, through osmosis - so, we here at This Full House of grimy little hands and bare feet spend a lot of our summertime, outdoors.
"Are there any bees?"
My son is the only one of my four children to have ever been stung by a bee - 5 times!
"Some, but they're not out to get you, or anything."
"Besides, are you going to spend the whole summer in the house?"
He's thinking about it.
"The bees are busy out back, but - I have to weed a little, out front - why don't you come outside and shoot a few hoops."
Begrudgingly, he followed me out to the front of the house and, as I kicked at the last of the sticky balls that were lying about, we both stopped in front of the weeping cheery tree to admire the transplants from my MIL's gard
"Wow, check out your great-grandfather's iris!"
[eyes go wide]
"Whuh...oh my gosh...WHERE!?!"
My son pulled a 360 and ran back into the house, screaming
"Oh, for the love
Bees can be scary - heck, I've been stung before and I know that it, you know, hurts! - but, I really believe that my son's fear of bees was beginning to get out of hand and really starting to get on my nerves. Still. I'm a grown up and he is still, you know, little. So, I did what any other anxious parent would do.
I dragged his butt back, outside!
"I know you're scared, but try and remember that everything in nature serves a purpose - after all, they are very important to our environment - maybe you could, you know, watch them and may
be you'll learn a little bit from them, too."
He nodded his head and started to cry, a little.
"Okay, but I think you're being mean!"
"And totally gross!"
Okay, he lost me...again.
"I mean, my family buries their eyes in the garden, that's just weird!?!"
Now, I'm laughing.
"No, I meant the flower."
"Why didn't you just say so!?!?"
I pointed out the fact that the three upright petals and three drooping sepals are symbols for faith, valor, and wisdom.
"Your grandfather always believed that, even though he didn't speak English very well, everyone spoke flowers."
Wait for it.
"He always said that we could learn a lot from gardening."
Whoops, there it is.
"Well, if it supposed to make you smart, maybe you should plant some more!"
Well, shut my mouth - not only are his eyes blue, but I do believe son has inherited his grandfather's sense of humor, too - stupid flowers!