Saturday, 16 May 2009

Rockin' And A Rollin'

With tax season finally behind us, our family headed into this May long weekend with big plans! First on the never-ending list of priorities was the garden expansion project. In order to meet the space requirements for my planting wish list, we needed an extra bed. Rain or shine, this project was on the agenda!

The forecast for the next couple of days is rather bleak. Luckily, the rain held out today. We were up before the birds (as usual) and headed out to pick up a few supplies. We spent the entire day outdoors, working collectively as a family on our new garden. Each and every one of us put in an honest day’s work. Chi-Chi and Muffy were thrilled to put their sweet wheelbarrows into action. They both impressed Hubby and I as they rolled load after load after load of soil. The Easter Bunny equipped my little worker bees with a set of very practical and sturdy metal shovels. I’m done with plastic gardening tools that fade into a brittle mess in no time. These little tools cost a bit more, but will last generations, I’m certain.

I focused my energy on rock collecting. Long ago, our property was once farmland. Those first settlers who worked this rugged coastal land piled stones on the sides of the fields. We used a few of these beautiful rocks to create a frame for the bed. Hubby has a special touch when it comes to building stone structures, which we’ve incorporated throughout our natural landscaping. It’s slow work, similar to putting together the pieces of a puzzle. The results are both gratifying and lovely. There is something magical about handling these stones one by one, knowing that likely one hundred years ago, the previous residents held the same stones in their weathered hands. We both love the texture and patina these rocks possess, aged by the moist ocean air and decorated in lichen.

When the day’s work was done, we all stood back and admired the simplicity and beauty of our new bed, anticipating the crunchy beans that will soon grace our dinner plates. High fives all around! The look of pride and satisfaction on Chi-Chi’s and Muffy’s grubby little faces brought tears to my eyes. Today was a turning point for our family. There was no “chasing” after the wee ones as they strayed away or sought out mischief. Both little guys worked hard today and were focused on the task at hand.

It was so clearly evident today that children thrive when given real responsibility and feel a sense of value in their work and contribution. As Chi-Chi snuggled under the covers tonight, he simply stated, " I had a good day today Mommy. I did good work." I witnessed a small transformation in maturity in this sweet little four year old today. He drifted off to sleep tonight, his growing body tired from his physical efforts and his heart beaming with pride.

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