This year we hit the 50% off table at the local pharmacy and picked out a box of bright marigolds and a few other flowers that struck our fancy. We popped them into the vegetable boxes to fill in some empty spaces and add a little pleasing-to-the-eye-color. I let him carry the box into the store as I paid and then carry them out and set them in back with the grocery bags. He was proud to be so strong and such a good helper to Mama, and he only almost dropped them once! I had the words to Eve Bunting's book Flower Garden running through my mind. "Garden in a shopping cart. Doesn't it look great! Garden on the check-out stand. I can hardly wait..." I'm not sure it's a living book, but holds sweet memories because we read it together over and over when he was real little.
(as long as I'm on the look-out for it!).
"Mom, when are we going to get purple beans?"
"When do you think?"
"In 80 a hundred weeks!?"
"Well... What do they need before they can get beans on them?"
"Do they have them?"
"Yes! I can kind of see them at the bottom."
"What else do they need?"
"Are there any?"
"I see some little pinkish buds..."
"So, when are we going to get some beans?"
"Oh, pretty soon."
but to a mother aspiring to "thinking love" toward her children,
it looks like the beginnings of a habit being formed in a young life, a habit of thought.
"...thinking, like writing or skating, comes by practice. The child who never has thought, never does think, and probably never will think; for are there not people enough who go through the world without any deliberate exercise of their own wits?" -CM
"The child asks 'Why?'
and the parent answers,
rather proud of this evidence of thought in his child." -CM
"Let the parent ask 'Why?' and the child produce the answer, if he
can. After he has turned the matter over and over in his mind, there is no harm
in telling him––and he will remember it––the reason why."
because he did the work of thinking for himself!
"Every walk should offer some knotty problem for the children to think out––
"Why does that leaf float on the water, and this pebble sink?" and so on." -CM
Mothering well is not an easy-breezy way of life. But the sweet rewards of the work are immense, just like that tray of yummy-ness(!) on the supper table.