plant whisperer.

well, after much research and watching my mom fight cancer, i decided to attempt to eat as healthy as possible.  most people would think our diet is a tad extreme, but it works for us, we feel great, and my mom’s still alive after battling one of the worst kinds of breast cancer possible.  i think, i believe, food has a lot to do with that.  as she says, you can take chemo once a week, radiation (i could never spell that and don’t care to learn how, it’s a word i hope to not type often) once a day, but you EAT three times a day.  you can self medicate three times daily.  or you can poison yourself three times a day depending on your habits.  my habits used to be poisonous.  i really really like sugar.  anyway…..

so we shop at the local farmers market, and basically ONLY at the farmer’s market.  in an attempt to save money (and the gardening spread in better homes and garden always looks so pretty) i decided to plant my own container garden.  i wanted to plant items we used the most.  spinach, red leaf lettuce (okay we don’t really use that too much, that was a better homes and garden moment) tomatoes, and strawberries. 

lincoln was very excited when i went about planting everything, very excited.  we had never played with dirt before.  and i was digging.  and there were green things.  it was all new and exciting.  it got better when i explained that we would ‘bite’ these things.  he was very happy. 

the strawberries died within a week.  the spinach and lettuce didn’t look too good.  my mom suggested moving them out of the hot afternoon sun and let only the morning light hit them.  BAM! instant improvement.  the tomatoes looked good.  lincoln would watch me as i watered them every morning.  whenever i would stop he would thoughtfully call out, “oh mowr, mowr!”  as if he were a plant whisperer and knew, knew they were still thirsty. 

the spinach was suddenly three feet tall.  BUT, it had some kind of bug and eventually it got the best of it.  the damn red leaf lettuce is still doing great, looks great too so i can’t complain.  and the tomato plant, well, that’s been interesting.  apparently you can’t put two plants in a little flower pot.  some things you learn the hard way.  so today, i attempted a tomato transplant in order to save not only the plant but the last living thing i hoped to eat from my garden.

it was a big day.  this was different than planting day.  today i was elbow deep in dirt, dumping pots over, tying plants to sticks (or bats as lincoln saw it).  lincoln was restlessly pacing around me as i worked, mumbling to himself.  he could barely contain his excitement.  he would reach in and grab some dirt.  i was busy trying to save our future salsas and sandwiches.  suddenly everything looks okay.  (key word, looks. we’ll see how it ends up)  i start watering the newly transplanted plants.  lincoln is watching me.  directing me where to dump the water.  softly saying, “oh!” when he sees me pour.  suddenly my companion is gone and i turn around and i notice a pile of dirt on the quilt stella is playing.  the same quilt matt’s grandmother bought us for christmas one year.  he had constructed a pile of dirt and had proceeded to ‘water’ it.  with his juicy cup that he would refill from his water table.  less than an inch of water at a time. 

i moved stella so she didn’t become part of lincoln’s garden and then directed his watering skills toward the wilty lettuce (the heat wave over the weekend hadn’t done them any favors).  he seemed very excited to have a task and purpose.  a goal.  not to mention that he had “permission” from his ma to continue on with his “work”. 

he kept watering them, even long after stella and i went inside to finish cooking dinner, still using the juicy cup, still going one inch at a time.

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