June 18, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
I’m pretty convinced that these days we aren’t growing raising children, we’re growing potatoes. My husband likes to call the kids potatoes when they are misbehaving (I’m pretty sure it’s better than, “YOU LITTLE &%$#”) like, “C’mere, you little potato!” or “Cut that out, you potato!” I actually think it is cute. The husband has no shortage of nicknames for the boys and by the time they are eighteen I am fairly certain neither one of them will answer to their given names. In fact, they will get to college (Gosh willing!) and someone will be all, “HEY! I’M GEORGE! WHAT’S YOUR NAME?” And they will be all, “HUH? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION. DOES NOT COMPUTE.”
Where were we? Oh yeah, potatoes…
So anyways, being the Domestic Goddess I am, I also grow things that we can eat. Like herbs. And tomatoes. And things we can’t eat. Like cockleshells (what the heck are cockleshells, anyways?). And Like lavender. Although I have recipes that call for it for herbs de provence and I can’t understand why you’d want to put petite purple flowers on salad, but I guess that shows how ghetto I am (and the fact that I am the complete polar opposite of European).
I do, for my part, host the local CSA delivery, where they deliver farm-fresh produce to my front porch and then folks pick up their share from me, thus spreading the organic-produce love throughout our town. So I am a little bit crunchy, a little bit rock-n-roll.
Please tell me you got that joke. No? Sigh.
Potatoes. I was talking about potatoes. Now, in my own little garden I do not grow taters. I’d like to, really. But it’s easier to just buy ’em and eat ’em. Could you picture me having to wait MONTHS AND MONTHS to dig up and eat taters? I mean, talk about torture! That would be my h-e-double-hockey-sticks, having to plant potatoes and wait for them to grow for all eternity. OH MY WORD, that would be awful for me. Therefore, I do not grow them. I buy them and wait for the CSA to deliver the rest. Yummy…
Although I don’t have actual potatoes in my garden, last night I witnessed the closest thing to taters growing in my garden. I found these:
Spuds. Planted in the ground. The pics do those piggies no justice, I tells ya. They were freaking dirty. And my tub? Wow. Just wow. Those are Bug Boy’s feet, in case you wanted to know. My child’s feet at the end of the day. And he had a bath to begin the day, so that’s only about ten hours worth. Now, I woulda shared a picture of Bugaboo’s hands (even dirtier, I sware. Swear, even.) except he went and dipped them in water and rinsed them off and got them all clean. And when I say clean, I mean, he went and stuck them in the toilet (that had fortunately been flushed) and then drank the water out of his hands, which is ok since my toilet is cleaner than most peoples. Anyone would drink out of it, honest. I am sorry, is that TMI?
This is why I love summer, see. The kids are out for hours, playing with the neighborhood kids and riding bikes and blowing bubbles and digging dirt pits and jumping through sprinklers and getting sticky from watermelon and popsicles and smelling like sunblock and eating on blankets under the trees because they can’t stop playing and crying at nine when it is finally dark and they have to come in and get quick baths and they pass out cold in five minutes(Yes, I am aware that was a paragraph-long run-on sentence, I did it for creative emphasis.). In fact, I consider the scrapped knees and bike bruises and dirt marks and sticky elbows a badge of honor. If they weren’t getting this dirty and sticky, I’d be concerned. The weather this week is TOTALLY AWESOME and cool and conducive for hours of outdoor play without fear of heatstroke or dehydration. And boy oh boy, these kids get dirty.
What makes me happy in life? This. All of this. Growing my own little potatoes. Chatting with my neighbors while ten kids prance happily in my yard under the trees. Kids arguing over whose turn it is to go on the hammock. Kids blowing bubbles and licking home made ice pops. Bringing out trays of watermelon to thirsty and hot children. Giving them plastic containers to go and catch lightening bugs. Eating herbs from my own garden. The windows being open and the smell of freshly cut grass coming into my home (ACHOO!). Teaching all of the kids in the neighborhood how to ride bike without training wheels. The scraped knees that come along with learning to ride a bike. I’m telling you, Mayberry doesn’t get much better than this.
Here’s to hoping you are growing your own little potatoes this summer.