A few weeks ago, the kids were helping me to reclaim the feral strip of land in front of the house, to turn it into a more tame version of a wildflower garden.
Seriously—I have big plans and I can't wait. Wildflowers and milkweeds and a twee stone path for walking. Maybe even a fairy garden? But the boy nixes that idea, lest anyone he knows sees it.
While we were clearing out the debris and weeds, we came upon a few very young trees, sprouted from the acorns of those around it, and we thinned some of these, saving the tallest and strongest of them to grow in (survival of the fittest and all), and we also came upon some plants that clearly sprouted up from the bird feeder.
The sorghum (Verified through a "what the hell is this?" post on Instagram. Thanks, crowdsourcing!) we pulled but the sunflowers we kept. After questioning me about where they came from and seeming somewhat satisfied that these sunflowers were indeed from the black oil seeds in the birdfeeder, and yes, birds are sloppy eaters but not as bad as the squirrels, one of the kids said, I wish we could see what those seeds look like before they turned into plants.
So, we grabbed a few from the feeder, set them in a container from the recycle bin with a soaked paper towel. They were skeptical of my plan, to say the least. But, three days later, we have germination.
And they were thrilled to a degree that surprised me by this simple act of nature. I mean, they're not toddlers. They're 12 and 14 and in the AP science classes for their respective grades. But all that book learning can't match the magic when you see it in front of your face.
Kids, I can't grant all your wishes. And as you get older and your wishes get more complicated, this will become ever more painfully obvious to the both of us. But right now? Right here? I can make this happen.