Re: [gardeners] Children, for Billie

Billie (
Thu, 11 Oct 2001 13:30:21 -0400

on 10/11/01 12:00 PM, at wrote:

> Billie, take heart!  You're doing all the right things with your
> children. There may be a time when they all turn their backs on the
> soil and what grows in it, but the knowledge will be like dormant
> seeds underground. One day, one of them will sprout again!  My
> Grandfather was a keen gardener. Actually, an old frusterated
> farmer as he had to move his family from the land to the city to
> earn a living. But he always had massive gardens, lots of grafting
> experiences, etc. His (many) grandchildren never did seem to take
> after him, and that must have been hard to take. But I'm back on
> the land now, wishing I'd absorbed more of what he tried to show
> me. I have a cousin who runs a garden center in Huntsville, Tx, and
> got his degree in horticulture and other plant 'themes'. None of our
> parents (my grandfather's direct children) were especially good at
> growing things.
> So, 'what you sow, so shall you reap', especially in the minds of
> children, or someone will anyhow. martha

That's what I'm hoping for...:)  I really do feel it's a gift for them that
they can "discover" in the future.

I'm not actively seeing child clients any more, but during the 10+ years I
did, I discovered that engaging them in growing things (from full-blown
gardens in the residential treatment centers to geraniums in pots in my tiny
office in the public mental health center) was a powerful step in their
healing processes. I hope that for some of them that little bit of exposure
to getting their hands in the earth was something they were able to put to
use as they got older.

My kids do love planting things and taking care of them. Last week my 4-year
old daughter found an acorn (amidst the hundreds that are falling this time
of year!) and decided we need an oak tree in the middle of the backyard, "so
we can sit under its shade and have picnics and play." She planted the acorn
and watered it and my husband marked it so he'll be sure to watch out for it
when mowing...:)  

This spring we got plant markers and identified everything in our beds, etc.
The kids have enjoyed learning what everything is and watching how some
things grow quickly while others take more time. I'm convinced this is
teaching them something important about life...:)

Thanks so much for your inspiring words...