This morning as I was picking chard from my horse trough planters, I was flooded by reflections of the last few days. The chard is the first thing I’ve been able to feed my family from our garden in over a year. Last year we moved and we have no garden set up here. Until we can get one set up – that keeps deer and bunnies out – I make do with big galvanized buckets. They grew some beautiful chard for breakfast this morning, for which I am grateful.
The little starts were given to me by my stepmother, someone who I admire on many levels, including for her beautiful garden. She’s someone who, as a child, I never imagined would be such an important part of my life. I never imagined that I would come to count on her – for help with the kids, editing my book manuscript, and for emotional support, as needed.
Our relationship started to change after I moved out of the house at 18, but the dramatic changes came when my daughter was born. It was like she finally got to play the role that she had been waiting for all along – grandmother. My baby girl brought back memories of her children when they were little, and she shared those with me, and she embraced my little ones with a love that only grandparents can have.
This shared bond of motherhood changed me, too. As I started to navigate through my own parenting challenges I realized that parents, and step-parents, do the best they can with the tools that they have. Nobody is perfect, but we are all trying to do best by our children. We’re not trying to screw them up, or scar them for life, but sometimes children enter our lives before we’ve finished sorting out our own baggage.
When I started to write this post I thought it was headed somewhere different – I thought I was going to write about the difficulties I’ve had fining a common ground in a few scenarios recently. When I started thinking about those chard starts, and where they came from, it overwhelmed my desire to write about anything else. My gratitude for the good relationships I have is more important, and deserves to be shared.
In the fall my tiny man (toes pictured above) will be the next of our babies to experience the wonderful grandparent care we have in our “village.” I will be so sad to not have him in the studio with me anymore (he’s been there since he was 2 weeks old, and is now 16 months) but so thankful that he is in such loving arms,