When my son was a toddler he would go missing in my garden. Later I would find him with tomato seeds and pulp all over his chubby cheeks and T shirt. Green or red, he ate them all. He enjoyed planting too, but mainly eating was his main objective.
Last summer, something changed. We had recently moved to a new house with a huge yard from an apartment with a balcony. A great growth in our cultivating space, and since I hadn't planted a garden in five years we both were excited. He became obsessed with our garden, reading vlogs, articles, books, almanacs, etc to learn about different techniques. Make no mistake, he is not the bookworm type. School is a struggle, but he has definitely found his niche.
This year we are a little late getting started, but the expectation of this garden has grown since that first catalog arrival in January. He is a sixteen year old boy, which often correlates into this mother feeling misunderstood, unappreciated, and often unloved. I'm sure he is equally frustrated with me, so the undertaking of this garden is more than simply growing vegetables. Its growing our relationship. His step dad helped him build a cold frame to start seedlings, and again it wasn't all about the plants. It was nurturing the seed of acceptance and trust.
So the summer promises to be full of work and compromise. This garden isn't made with rows like my Granny used to make, but is more unconventional designed by the creative mind of a teenager. I possess the expectation that we will grow closer, and he will find satisfaction in a job well done. We may experience a hail storm, or flood, or horde of grasshoppers, but right now, right now at this very moment I have hope of tremendous success. Its the same hopeful expectation I feel as I anticipate the initial sprout of the seedling pushing through the earth and reaching for light.