With Rex at a business dinner and Pip sleeping at the rare hour of 5PM, Stink and I took it upon ourselves to clean up the front garden last night.
Lest you think Martha Stewart has invaded my little cul de sac of anxiety, let me inform you that by "garden" I mean "geraniums." And by "clean up" I mean "hack the crap" out of weeds the size of Clifford the Big Red Dog's sidewalk turds.
The wind was howling, and what began as a minor exercize to keep Stink from falling into a tv coma transformed into an all out war against petal sucking crab grass.
Pausing at a particularly stubborn root, Stink lay down his plastic hoe. "These weeds are bad to the flowers, huh Mommy?" Sensing the perfect parenting opportunity, I explained that weeds are like bad deeds and how we must destroy them to enjoy the flowers. Me: "Like today, when Albert took your sunglasses away." Stink, forlorn: "And I cried!!!" Me: "Yes, you were sad. Albert's act was that of a weed. And you're a flower!" At which he laughed, then quite indignantly said, "I'm not a flower! I'm a kid!"
Now tired of my analogy, he abandoned the flower bed for the more helpful task of throwing dried leaves into the SUV console. But as I labored on, I took to heart the very lesson I was telling Stink. If I allow the the weeds of negative thought - the roots of "what if" - to crowd my brain, I will never enjoy the garden of the present: my children, the holidays, and the new memories that can bloom.
So simple, but true. And of course, being the neurotic freak that I am, I will falter again and again as I retrain my brain to accept the present and future, not the past. But as I told Stink, gardens don't grow over night. Unless you live in Hollywood and can build a plastic oasis instantly on your soundstage. Which is how I used to see gardens. Which is why my fantasy thinking is so screwed up in the first place.
Away with you, rambling brain! Do you people see how I can get myself crazy!? Time to take out the mental plow and till till till.
Un-till tomorrow, peeps. Happy gardening.