My mother used to have a huge garden when I was a kid. Maybe it was just huge to me as it surely seemed that way when she cajoled my sister and I into working at pulling weeds for what seemed like 8 hours straight on the weekends (it was probably only 2 hours), but her little garden, about 20 by 18 feet was full of lessons learned. Not only on how to plant, weed, thin and harvest, but how to work hard. I remember complaining… complaining A LOT. I would much rather have been playing, or napping, or reading, but there in the soil we toiled, our knees dirty, and our nails full of dirt. I’m sure we drove her nuts with our constant cries of how tired we were, or how hot it was. I remember resenting my mother for years for making us work in that garden. My friends never had to work in a garden, they hardly had any chores to do. They had the newest Nintendo game to play with, or they went out shopping, while we mowed grass and burned brush that fell into our yard. My mother was firm, we had to finish our chores and I remember a few times being sent to my room as I pouted over something that wasn’t worthwhile whining about. Even when it came to eating the fresh produce plucked from that garden, we would roll our eyes, and choke down bites of radish that seemed to end up in every meal. But here I am, in my early 30s, a baby on the way, a yard, still full of snow, and I’m planning my garden. It took me 20 years to stop resenting my mother for working in that garden, and 20 years for me to realize those years of work shaped me into who I am today. I couldn’t care less about the newest gizmo or gadget, and owning and taking care of something of your own is 100 times more rewarding than simply buying it. Food grown in your garden only costs you some sweat and hard work instead of a hard earned dollar. When you start a project, you have to work hard, nourish it, and keep going until the project is done. Just like the plants in the garden, in life sometimes you plant seeds and nothing grows, and you simply need to learn from that and move on, and try again. My garden may not happen this year, maybe next when I don’t have my hands so full with Junior, but it will be about 20 feet by 18, and I hope to have a little garden shed to go with it. I plan on someday weeding my garden with the help of my son. I’m sure Junior will complain. He’ll want to go play with his friends, play video games, or even nap, and I’ll be firm, I’ll make him toil for what he will say seems like ‘8 hours straight’, and hopefully he will learn the lessons my mother’s garden has taught me. When he’s done his chores, then he can run off to play and wallow in whatever kids his age would be doing. And someday, 30 years from now, he will also come to understand those important lessons learned from spending 2 hours on a Saturday in a simple country garden.