So last night I came down with a fever. Baby Fever to be exact. I was sitting on the couch hoping that the overcast sky that I’ve been looking at for a week would stop teasing me and actually break into a spring storm. I was channel surfing (which has become a new past time that I really need to ditch. The landlord offered me a package deal–cable, wireless internet and tv for $25. How could I say no? But after living (blissfully) without cable for almost 5 years, I’ve developed a new addiction. It really is true that there’s nothing on, but for some reason I have to watch it anyway). So I’m flipping through the channels and I landed on an old episode of Sex And The City. And it hits me. I don’t know where it came from. One minute I’m watching as Carrie agonizes over a potential pregnancy, and the next all I can think about are babies! It’s not that I’m not maternal, or that I don’t like babies. I love babies, and enjoy playing with my friends’ babies. But I also really enjoy giving them back when they get cranky and it’s time to go home. And someday I do want to have kids, but there is nothing about my life right now that says “a baby would really make this better”. So what did I do?
I panicked. I rallied the troops–I called my girlfriends. I needed a distraction. So after a couple of hours on the phone talking about everything except babies, thoughts of pink and blue had mostly dissipated. I worked on some stuff around the house to further distract myself until bedtime. (It took awhile, but my kitchen is now spotless).
Tonight, the Baby Fever finally broke. As I was out watering the sad little plot in the backyard that I’m hoping will eventually be a recognizable garden, I was looking at the beans I’ve planted and thinking about my grandpa and how much I loved walking through his gardens as a kid. He’s been gone for almost a decade, but I can still see him walking the rows, bending down to pull potatoes or carrots or radishes from the ground. Quizzing us to see if we could guess what would eventually appear in each row. The progression from seed to table always amazed me. It still does.
I planted beans, squash and carrots a couple of weeks ago. The carrots never came up. They’ll soon be replaced by the tomato and pepper seedlings that are waiting on the back porch. The squash are troopers. They’re plodding along, growing at their own pace. But the beans are exploding! A week ago, they were tiny little green sprouts just peaking out of the soil. Two days ago, they were a few inches tall. All leaves. Tonight, they’re almost a foot tall and overnight started developing the tendril-like vines that will eventually wrap around stakes (if I ever make it to the hardware store) and the tiny little buds that will eventually lead to flowers and then to the beans themselves. And as I stood there looking at my little plants and watching the water slowly soak into the soil, I realized that it’s not a baby that I’m looking for (thank god!). It’s watching something that I’ve created or nurtured grow and change.
So tonight I’m content knowing that I’ve got a small plot of soil in the backyard, where I can play and get dirty, and if I’m lucky, by the end of the summer, my table will be full of things that I’ve nurtured and watched grow. In the meantime, it’s time to dig out my sketchbook–its been months since it’s seen daylight. And this summer I’ll sit in the backyard with my sketchbook and crayons watching over my garden, and waiting to see what comes forth.
For now, I think I’ll leave the pink and blue crayons in the box.