We have always wanted a pond in our garden. We planned one for the garden in Kansas and moved before we could get it done. In Illinois, visiting grandchildren started digging in 2007.
What with one thing and several serious health setbacks for another, the pond was not completed with plants, flowers, backfill, landscape flagstones, tadpoles and goldfish until this past spring. Our granddaughter Alice has spent part of her summers with us the past three years. She helped move dirt and flagstone the past two years.
When grandchildren visit, we plant flowers and vegetable gardens, play games and take walks, cook and bake, take field trips to museums and aquariums’. The time I spend with them carries on the family tradition of connecting generations. The continual renewal of this generational connection is part of the same cycle of growth, dormancy and renewal we find in our gardens.
My grandmother Dorothy had a wonderful garden in her yard. I helped her weed and plant and transplant many different kinds of flowers and plants. When I was a young wife and mother, we lived next to Grandma Dorothy. My children had the opportunity to see Grandma almost every day. They were in the garden with us a lot.
She told me of going with her mother to visit her mother. While they talked, my grandmother would cross the yard and visit her great-grandmother in her garden next door. Her great-grandmother shared stories of when she was a 12 year old child living in Virginia during the Civil War. My grandmother listened and learned while spending time in her Grandma Mary Jane’s garden.
This continuous cycle of learning and listening and loving is made possible by the generosity of time and sometimes material investment of the parents of the children. I want my daughters and son-in-laws to know how much we appreciate them sharing their most precious gifts with us. My time with my grandmother is still a blessing to me. I hope my time with my grandchildren is a blessing to them.
Today is my daughter Jami’s birthday. Grandma Dorothy watched her trying to keep up with her sisters. She laughed and called them Big Bit, Middle Bit and Little Bit. Grandma always made either a lemon or chocolate sheet cake for birthdays. We would play games and talk and be together. The memories we created are priceless. Birthdays mark the passage of time and are symbolic of our personal life cycle.
Happy Birthday, Little Bit…….
©2011 Susan Kendall. All rights reserved