Monday, October 6, 2008

Garden of Wonders.....

Finally, after a long, hot summer I am getting to my gardens. I have looked at them for the last 10 months (since we moved in) and dreamed of what they might look like. I have a long way to go, but my first day out in the garden was quite wonderful and productive.

As the parent of a child with Down Syndrome, I kind of "assume" that Ellie will take longer with everything. I just "assumed" that I would have to wait longer before I could productively garden with her at my side. I was able to do this with her brother at a young age because it was dirt! What boy doesn't like to dig in the dirt. Not to mention, he didn't mind taking a bath, and well, Ellie can scream like a banshee when I bring a cup of water near her head. So, I just figured, "oh well, next year." But today, I got back early from my run and the weather was perfect for me to garden, so after a quick shower (I get really gross after a 5 mile run) I headed out. I made good progress in the 2 hours she was still at school, but it wasn't as much as I figured I needed to get done given my time limits tomorrow, and the impending rain on Thursday and Friday.

When Ellie hopped off the bus, I took a gamble. "Ellie do you want to go inside?" "No." "Do you want to ride in your red car?" "No." Do you want to dig in the dirt with Mom?" "Yeah!"
Well, there, I had it. So I got her little yellow plastic pail and shovel. She followed me to the garden and plopped down in the middle of the dirt with a big smile. She had fun with her shovel for a little bit, but kept eyeing my big shovel. I suggested a plastic children's trowel from her brother's earlier years which she happily worked with for an hour. She filled her bucket and my big bag of potting soil, and her shoes!

I was able to double the amount of garden completed, and then she started to rub her eyes. So off to the bathroom for an almost totally happy bath! I was thrilled for her. She has hated her baths since moving here, but today's bath was mostly happy with lots of soapy bubbles and scooping and pouring with her cups. The only tears shed were over the hair washing but they were much fewer and ended quickly.

After the bath it was off to take a nap?! Another unheard-of event in my house. Tonight I checked. Surprisingly, the moon was still yellow.

Tomorrow we won't get a repeat as Ellie has therapy right after school, and then we have shopping at Costco. But Wednesday is looking like a great day to repeat this wonderful gardening adventure with Ellie. Wonder if we'll get another nap? The moon will have to turn blue for that!!

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