|My daughters from 2009
– Ages 2 and 4
My kids are kind of strange. Of course I know what you’re thinking, all kids are a little weird. They have their quirks, their unique traits that will eventually turn them in to unique adults. That’s not the kind of weird I’m talking about. While visiting family over the Christmas season we were up at their grandparents house. After opening presents dinner commenced. Everyone filled their plates with main courses and sides but not my two girls. What did they go for? The vegetables! They filled their plates with raw vegetables like broccoli, cucumbers, olives, and carrots.
Their granddaddy commented on how he never would have eaten like that when he was a kid, but this isn’t an unusual thing around here. My kids love having grapefruit or oranges in the morning. The oldest isn’t keen on bananas but the younger two love them. Grapes, blueberries, pineapples, apples and all kinds of other fruits are all fair game. It’s just like candy to them. That’s not to say that my kids don’t like candy as well. There’s plenty of that to go around from Halloween to Easter each year but the fruits and vegetables are not something my kids turn down often.
|Oldest and Youngest from January 2012
– Ages 6 and 2
I have to attribute this to their understanding of the garden. Each of my three kids have spent many hours in the yard and garden helping me (or not – you know how that goes) while absorbing a healthy appreciation for the outdoors. They understand by being outside where our food comes from, how it grows, and even where the waste goes.
|Middle and Youngest from October 2012
– Ages 4 and 2
They understand composting – how cool is that? Their understanding is very basic of course. They may not realize that microbes break down all the waste from the kitchen to turn it into usable soil. What they do understand is that the waste gets turned back into a rich soil that plants can grow and thrive with and that one day that discarded orange peel will help a tomato plant to grow. They know that worms are good, that bees pollinate the plants (even if they sound scary), and that most of the time its better to learn about the creatures in the garden before harming them. My son is still working on that last part – too many ladybugs in the house have met their demise at the hand of my 2 and a half year old.
The kids have been out there planting seeds in the vegetable garden, planting plants in the ornamental gardens, watering (sometimes themselves more often than the plants), and digging. Playing in the dirt makes for strong children with a healthy love of the garden. The outdoors is where kids need to grow up. Today in this world of constant electronic interaction growing up outdoors seems to be a rarity.
I’m very proud that my kids are weird.