Daydreams of gardening with my child filled my head when I was pregnant. Roaming my garden in late spring eight months pregnant, I was too big to plant, prune or weed. So strolls in my garden, picking flowers and imagining digging in the dirt with my son filled my last few months of pregnancy.
Fast forward a few years, when Kid A’s preschool asked me to teach a gardening class to the kids, a dream come true! I pictured the kids intently listening as I explained how all the elements – dirt, seed, water and sun come together to grow life in the garden. How there is nothing better than the smell of flowers, sounds of bird chirping and the taste of a ripe strawberry picked right from the plant. Heaven!
I walked into Classroom 8, toting my bowl of garden veggies, an assortment of freshly picked sweet peas and a collage I had spent hours on so I could explain the rainbow of colors and health benefits from a garden. They’d love this right?
All that came to a screeching halt. Fast. After about 10 seconds of sitting quietly, they started raising their hands. I thought ‘Great, they have questions, this will be interactive, they’re into this!’. Although questions turned into stories. Things like ‘Did you know I’m going to the beach after school?’ or ‘Godzilla is my favorite!’.
Sigh. What happened to Classroom 8 Rule #6 blatantly displayed on the wall? Didn’t they want to hear about the benefits of carrots and vitamin A?
To my surprise, a few perked up and explained germination to me. Wow, I hadn’t thought to use that big of a word. Awesome, now we were getting somewhere! So I decided to take it outside. They had their organic soil, hose, seeds and popsicle stick markers ready to go.
They were ready to dig in. Lifting heavy bags of soil, ripping them open and scattering seeds got their attention.
It was a bit chaotic juggling 15 kids, spades and seeds, although we got the job done. The kids walked away happy and feeling proud of their accomplishments.
And just after one week, we saw the fruits of our labor. Germination!
After our planting excursion, Kid A took over and was telling the kids about the different veggies we’ve grown in our garden, and they listened.
It was then that I realized, I was the one that got schooled. My lesson? Never underestimate kids. During class they might mention things like Darth Vader is really good guy, or that their favorite color is pink, but they are listening and learning. Just like little seeds, you can’t imagine what they will grow into.
My pregnancy photo, thanks to……