My parents made grown-up life look easy. I am only beginning to scratch the surface of understanding that now as I follow what I remember of their example, and the product is less than stellar. I’m not saying my parents were perfect at everything they did, I just can’t think of anything that they didn’t do well.
Like gardening. They made waking up at 7am on a Saturday after a full week’s worth of work, parenting, and life look like a piece of cake. They cheerfully tied up their work shoes, corralled us all outside, and proceeded to weed, hoe, and plant like it was fun. Which is why when I saw a spot for a small garden box and flower garden in my yard, I was overjoyed! I have yet to find waking up with the sun and detangling weeds nearly as delightful as they made it seem.
And while we’re on the subject, my parents spent the end of summer and early fall preserving the bounty from our garden. Whenever I go over to visit, I still see the shelves lined with rows of tomato sauce, salsa, and peaches. I remember filling five gallon buckets with the produce from the garden, which would then get crushed, cooked, and boiled down to fit in plenty of jars to last us through the following year. Becoming nostalgic as the summer winds down had me ordering 20 lbs. of tomatoes. I had recipes of tomato sauce, tomato paste, and homemade ketchup all pinned on my Pinterest board for the occasion. I even bought a whole new flat of jars, expecting to buy another after filling those. Except, after picking through the leaky rotten tomatoes and roasting the rest, I was only able to fill two pint sized jars. I didn’t even open the flat, just used leftover jars from my last exciting food storage experience.
And food preservation isn’t the only thing I watched my parent’s excel at, either. They never seemed to need to sit down and rest! They’d go from waking up at unholy hours to workout, to cooking breakfast, getting us kids off to school, and then go shopping for three hours, come home and tidy up a bit, then make dinner, check chores, and tuck us in bed right before jumping into theirs. When I have a spare moment at my house, I’m torn between napping with the baby, watching a show on Netflix, or doing yesterday’s dishes. And while I contemplate that, I am on Facebook procrastinating my choice.
Maybe it’s like training for the olympics: they’ve been “practicing” at this whole grown-up thing for so long that they make it look easy. If so, I’m taking applications for a coach. Or a maid. Meanwhile, I’m extending an open invitation to my parents: If you would like to garden, I’ve got the land. If that garden turns out well, I still have those jars. And as for your energy, please send in generous quantities.
And for those of you in the same boat, we should have a support group. I’ll supply the Netflix.