Sometimes I keep waiting for a big cohesive story to come along before I sit down and write, and then I realize that actually, I’ll be waiting a long time. And there are little tidbits I want to remember, in the meantime.
Things I Have Learned While Gardening
Cabbages like coffee grounds. Sometimes tomato plants fall over for no reason (but will stand up and grow again if you use a couple of supports). The same children who sometimes push store-bought beans around on their plates at dinnertime will argue over whose turn it is to go pick beans, and then eat half the haul en route. Watermelons are surprisingly hard to grow. As soon as I decide that maybe I DO like the parsley that came back from last year unbidden—because how could I not, with it growing so tall and lush?—it will start to bolt. Two seasons in, I’d say it’s confirmed: I suck at growing peppers.
(I should write a gardening manual, or something. I mean, wasn’t that incredibly useful?)
Things I Have Learned About Dollar Store Towels
They are made of magic! They LOOK like towels and they FEEL like towels, but they are WATERPROOF. Magic, right? (Note to self: Buy new towels, and spend more than $4 on them.)
Things I Have Learned About Pubescent Girls
The same child who will scream and cry that IT’S NOT FUNNY!!! when you dare giggle in her direction will laugh her head off at some intensely personal tidbit she just shared, and say that it’s okay to blog. When explaining why you will NOT blog any such thing, because, HELLO, that’s really kind of let’s-keep-that-to-ourselves-ish, she will become enraged that you don’t find her entertaining enough to share with the world. That same child will torment her younger brother at the grocery store until you turn around and hiss at her, repeatedly, to knock it off, and soon thereafter will zing him with, “That’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!” When given A Look through narrowed eyes in response, she will add, “That’s none of MY business, either, and I’m SHUTTING UP NOW.” They find jokes about boobs endlessly funny.
Things I Have Learned About Fruit Flies
They love me. They love bananas. They love tomatoes. They are having orgies in my kitchen and laughing at me. They cannot, however, swim in vinegar laced with dishwashing soap. Guess who’s laughing now, punks?
Things I Have Learned About 9-Year-Old Boys
They are impervious to the smell of urine. It never stops being funny to say, “Is that alright with you, Monkey?” when a certain small boy has been buried in a book; watching him try to figure out how to answer can entertain the entire family for hours. They are extremely helpful (“Let me do that for you!”) but not terribly coordinated or good with long-range planning (“Well I climbed up here to reach so I could put the plates away, but now I can’t reach the plates in the dishwasher”). Sometimes they need a nap in the middle of the day for no reason other than it’s time to recharge. They are not too big too cuddle with their Mamas. They find jokes about boobs endlessly funny.
Things I Have Learned About Plans
Plans are good, but flexibility is better. Sometimes I have to work harder than I want to. Sometimes I get more time off than I thought I would. Sometimes I need to shut up and suck it up. Sometimes I need to take a break from planning. Sometimes a little hope is all it takes.
Things I Have Learned About My Husband
He is extremely patient with the exploding garden, waterproof towels, fruit fly infestations, my various neuroses, and also the children’s endless jokes about boobs.