Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It might sound a bit cliché, but it really is the perfect time of year to count our blessings and give thanks for what matters to us. When you think about it, it’s really too bad that we only do this once a year. Shouldn’t I be thankful everyday? I do try, but I guess in the rush of life, all of that gets lost and I tend to put more value on the bigger stuff than it really deserves. Perhaps I need to remind myself a little more often to put life on hold and appreciate the little things, too, for in many ways they’re of more importance to growing a happy family.
I have an old newspaper clipping posted on the fridge. The title is something like “10 Ways to Grow Happy Kids.” In it, the author, the child-rearing columnist Dr. John Rosemond, points out his top 10 ideas for raising independent, confident and obedient children. I’m not sure I think all 10 of them are perfect concepts, but I value all of them to some degree and try to keep them in mind when raising my son.
One of them, though, couldn’t be more spot-on. Dr. Rosemond reminds us parents that it isn’t “things” that matter. Having more “stuff” does not make you a better or happier person. (That’s a super-tough concept for most kids—and many adults, too, myself included!) Give your children experiences instead of plastic playthings. Teach them the pleasures of adventure he says. And so, here is where the garden comes in.
I am thankful for my garden—but not just for the food it provides. It gives my son and me a place to connect. A place for so many new and different experiences to occur and a place to spend time together doing whatever makes us the dirtiest. There are so many adventures to be had in our 30- by 30-foot patch of soil. I’m also so thankful to have a son who appreciates it, who takes great pride in planting onion sets and picking blueberries. I am thankful, too, for my husband, who tolerates it all with a smile.