I started with the kids, some seeds from packages with Sesame Street characters pictured on the front, and broken egg shells. I felt like I was putting together a real educational activity. The kids planted sunflowers and radishes this way and each day Ian would drag out the cardboard egg carton to the sidewalk and we would water them, waiting for the little green leaves to make their first appearance. (BTW, the sunflowers made it to the transplanting...the radishes, not so much)
The 3rd weekend in April, I designated planting day. I took some grief from my husband who reminded me that it was to early, but I wanted to get the show on the road. We live in the High Desert area of Southern California, and along with the rest of the country, the weather has been unpredictable. Usually we have one cold snap in the spring before it stays warm. Much to my surprise and delicate ego, we had more than one and I got to endure the "I told you so" speech from my dearly beloved. I had gone to the local home improvement store and bought plants to round out the garden. Man nor children cannot live by sunflowers and radishes alone. I came home with 4 different colors of tomatoes, green beans, corn, squash and peas. I also came back with flowers to make things pretty.
Fast forward a few weekends and we now have a fully planted garden! Viola!
Its at this point, the real teaching has begun. The lessons of life, patience, responsibility, caring for the land and those things that are important to you. Memories of my Mom and Dad begin to surface through my daughter and I began to see and hear her share those memories with her children. There is a part of me that wonders if Ian and Jayna will do the same with their children when I am gone; if they will remember the Red Box and what we did together in the Summer of 2010. I hope so. If not the actual memory, then the feeling of closeness and joy coupled with the satisfaction of working in a garden. And perhaps, a smile, when looking at pictures, fading with the years, knowing that Grandma and Grandpa loved them enough to spend quiet, un-interrupted time with them in a garden.