Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. Proverbs 20:11
The kids have been working hard lately and helping me with the gardening. I would like to tell you that they are excited and absolutely love the time spent in the garden, but that wouldn't be completely true. Actually, most of the time they are acutely aware that it is hot and they are sweating and their are bugs and many of the plants make them itch. But, they are slowly learning that complaining does more harm than good and that doing a job correctly the first time means that they won't have to redo it later. They are even managing to find a little fun in the work as well ... especially in hunting for and picking the ripe tomatoes and when Papa lets them pick up the freshly dug potatoes. I think they were a little proud the other night when I cooked fresh green beans and mashed potatoes from beans and potatoes that they had helped harvest and prepare. They all three snapped beans and D was Papa's official potato washer (in other words, he wanted to play in the water and Daddy just put that desire to good use!)
Truth be told, I didn't like gardening much as a child either. I did like picking cucumbers and snapping beans wasn't too bad, but our family of six canned or froze massive amounts of summer produce each year. When my uncle, who was a farmer by trade, would call and say that the corn was in, Daddy and the boys would load up early one morning and head south. They would return hours later with somewhere between 500-800 ears of corn. We would spend the next few days shucking, silking, cutting, blanching, cooling, bagging, and freezing all that corn. And corn was just one of the things that would fill the freezer or line the pantry each year. One year we canned 300 pounds of tomatoes in one week, making my Mama's special concoction that we call relish but that is really more of a base for everything from soup to chili to spaghetti sauce. That meant not only washing, popping the skins, peeling, and cutting the tomatoes, it also meant washing and chopping bell pepper, onion and celery. Not to mention washing the hundred or so jars that would be needed for the canning process.
And then there were the peas and the snap beans and the cucumbers and the squash and the butter beans and the blackberries we would pick in the woods for jelly and the potatoes we would sometimes dig in my Grand-daddy's garden. Weeks each summer were spent picking, shelling, snapping, cutting and perserving.
I know that, even today, this is not abnormal to people who live on farms or for those of us who would like to return to a simpler life, but let me tell you that this was abnormal in my society as a kid. And, when I knew that my friends were spending their summers swimming or vacationing or just hanging out and doing whatever they pleased, I was a little jealous.
But, my Daddy believed in the importance of the family working together toward a common goal and didn't like things that interfered with those goals.
I thought that he was either crazy or just didn't understand what kids were supposed to do in the summer. I mean, none of my friends had to do those things, why did we?
I can only hope that my children grow up and have the appreciation I now have for those lessons learned when Mama and Daddy wouldn't let us complain as the sweat was dripping from ... everywhere and when I would have rather been curled up with a good book than contributing to the family economy. I hope they learn earlier than I did to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that every member of the family profits when we all work together without grumbling or complaining ... and it doesn't really matter if you are complaining for the whole world to hear, or just doing it in your heart ... the results are about the same.
I hope they grow up to be jealous of the time spent with their families and with a strong desire to protect that time from too many outside interferences. I hope that they will see the family as a unit that works best when all are working toward a common goal. And I hope that they will want to pass on the things that we have taught them to their children.
Which reminds me of how important it is that we teach our children things that are worthy to be passed on to our grandchildren. Sometimes this task seems overwhelming to me. But I know that with such an enormous responsibility comes an awesome blessing. I can see that now in how much my Daddy loves to see his grandkids in the garden ... and how I love seeing him pass on his knowledge to them. It is wonderful to see this come full circle and know that what was only a drudgery to me as a child is now a gift that I can give to my children. They may not understand that for a long time, but that is okay ... someday, they'll get it ... I did.
A few more pictures of our gardening experience ...
That little bit of yellow is D hunting in the jungle for ripe tomatoes
Welcome to my little corner of the blogging world. Thanks for dropping by. I am a homeschooling mom of 3 great kids. They keep me busy and give me a clearer perspective on the things my parents experienced while raising my brothers and me. My husband and I have been married for almost 18 years. We enjoy spending our time together as a family and are seeking to serve God in any way He calls us. Right now, that includes homeschooling our children and, for Ronnie, serving as the bi-vocational minister of education and families at our church. I hope you find something that interests you here among my ramblings. And now that you are here, please leave a comment ~ they make me feel so special!
LB, our 15 year old daughter and our resident drama queen. She absolutely loves to perform. Her favorite role, so far, is probably Anne Shirley.
JW, our 13 year old son ... loves all things "boy" ... guns, camo, cars, etc. He is our family comedian and like his sister, enjoys performing ... he is also the most tender-hearted of my bunch and he loves to make people laugh! He definitely keeps things interesting.
D, our 9 yr old wild child! This kid is never still and never has been ... even before he was born. He is my best cuddler though and while he has always enjoyed his "baby brother" status, he is beginning to show his independence from the big kids.