It recently occurred to me that I might care more for my plants than I do my children. That sounds terrible and, of course, it’s an exaggeration, but I’ve noticed that in the summer I much prefer weeding, watering and dead-heading my garden to cooking, cleaning and managing my offspring. What gives?
I think the main reason is that even though my kids are old enough to take care of themselves, they aren’t to the point where they can completely adult (verb), so there’s this weird dynamic happening in our house where I still want to enforce chores and curfews and they perpetually want to give me the finger.
Snapdragons and squash are far nicer to live with. They don’t roll their eyes or leave their cereal bowls on the coffee table. They don’t listen to “The Office” at high volume or constantly “borrow” cash for gas (like I’ll ever see that money again). Sure, a tomato plant can’t tell me it loves me, but when it blossoms and a tiny green orb begins to grow, it’s basically the same thing.
I’ve also noticed that my garden floras are far better listeners than my precious little angels. Not once has a zinnia interrupted or a foxglove texted while I shared my innermost thoughts and concerns. And I’ve never experienced moments of awkward silence with my ferns or begonias. They seem happy just to have me near, gently pruning and fertilizing, unlike my heirs who flee as soon as I try to engage because they think I’m going to lecture them on laundry etiquette. Which I probably am.
That’s why I prefer my plants!