Sunday, July 2, 2017

Really Great Things Just Have To Take longer

This is my latest Huffington Post article:

My grandson and I recently planted two fruit trees. This was a big deal for both of us. It was exciting for me because I was beginning my orchard project. It was exciting for him because, about to celebrate his third birthday, every project held the promise of astonishing adventure. I read the tree planting directions to him. He paid no attention. Small shovel in hand he had already begun to dig the first hole. I was allowed to assist. Luckily his attention often wandered to his many side projects and during those moments I quickly expanded the hole which was to be twice as wide as the root ball and just deep enough to not quite cover it. After quite a bit of time and negotiation we placed the first tree in its new home. “Apple tree,” he proclaimed. And then immediately wanted to eat an apple from the still infant tree. My explanation that the tree needed time to grow before we could eat its apples failed to capture his interest. We moved on to the next hole. I dug while my grandson ran off to gather what I assumed would be more tools. He returned with his wheelbarrow full of plastic dinosaurs. I continued to dig the second hole. When I paused to assess my progress on hole number two I couldn’t help but notice that the apple tree’s branches were filled with dinosaurs. Slightly out of context but nevertheless welcome, a tiny gorilla clung to a tree leaf. All of the dinosaur and gorilla activity gave me time to finish the second hole. Of course, once the second tree sat in its hole my grandson announced, “Pear tree,” and wanted to eat a pear from that also infant tree. Again my explanation of fruit trees needing time to mature before we could enjoy their fruit neither amused nor interested him. What did interest him was the opportunity to fill both holes with the dirt we had shoveled out. “Wait, Gramma,” he instructed and again ran off to gather more tools. He returned with devices which, although in miniature, seemed far more appropriate to the task at hand than were the many dinosaurs and the lone gorilla. Second only to his love of dinosaurs is his fascination with construction vehicles. And he had brought the perfect ones: a digger, a dump truck, and a bulldozer. I sat down in the dirt to watch as his little hands navigated the construction equipment to fill the two holes which, proportionately speaking, were about the size of Arizona’s Meteor Crater. With interruptions for snacks and a nap, he spent the rest of the day filling the holes. Occasionally he allowed me to stomp down the dirt which also gave him the opportunity to jump up and down in it. As the sun set on our project and he went inside for bath and bed I harvested dinosaurs and gorilla and returned them to the miniature wheel barrow. I also garaged the much-used construction vehicles. Only then did I sit back down in the dirt to admire the day’s accomplishment. At one moment during that amazing day, my grandson idled his construction equipment and asked if these were his trees. Without a moment’s hesitation, I assured him that, yes, we had planted those trees for him. Sitting there in the dirt as darkness gathered around me I acknowledged that trees cannot be planted just for ourselves. We plant trees for our children, for our grandchildren, and for all the generations that we hope will come after us to eat of the fruit which grew with the help of tiny hands, plastic dinosaurs, toy construction vehicles, and a lone gorilla. And that’s why really great things just have to take longer.


Anonymous said...

Words vanish when I try to make a comment, only tears are at the ready. Joyful, remarkably joyful tears and gratitude for experiencing through your words the endless miracle of children. Thank you Mary.

Tom Walker said...

Congratulations to you and your grandson for bringing wit, truth and beauty to this world. If only we'd had dinosaurs to help us, we could have gotten a lot farther with our prospecting.

Mary Walker Baron said...

Thank you, Anonymous. I am humbled by and most appreciative of your comment. And Tom, dinosaurs are always so helpful. Thanks to you both for your comments.