My first attempt to get them excited was staging our first 'seed draft'. Inspired by the NFL draft my guys are glued to every year, we laid out all the packets, discussed them a bit and took turns. Each child was allowed to choose as many as they wanted with the understanding the care of the plants, once outdoors, was theirs.
So far, their enthusiasm for this project is representative of their individual personalities:
- S wants to be in charge of being a complete goofball. He choose thyme (and almost all the other herbs 'because they're easy, right?') and proceeded to keep me laughing all day -- 'Mom, I'm running out of thyme!!' while pretending to pour out all the seeds. 'Oh no!! I've lost track of thyme!!' while frantically searching for the seed packet. To be fair, though, when it comes to the actual work, he is efficient, strong and a wonderful problem-solver.
- E wants to take it completely seriously and expects a earth-shatteringly perfect outcome about which she can be oh-so-nonchalant. As I built the beds outside, she drew a casual schematic of the garden. 'Casual' because she said, 'It's not very good but is it okay?' In reality, the drawing has measurements, accurately-placed landmarks as well as notes about which beds are whose...you know, to ensure that, months from now, her success is duly noted. Most afternoons, Emma's job often entails calming the dogs who want to run through/lounge in whatever workspace we're currently in.
- T, of course, wants to want to garden but really she just wants to alternately watch TV and complete her self-imposed mission of reading all the Harry Potter books in five months. When we drag her away from the books, though, she works hard and remembers the tiniest of details to tell about and ponder over supper. I can already tell her duties will include updating any remotely interested party in the minutia of our garden. (Maybe she should blog!)