Growing a garden dream dashed

Marisca tries to keep the hope alive during a pandemic for her children’s sake

I haven’t accepted the fact that we are now a full week into fall. I opened the door this morning, the wind blew and I got a whiff of rotting leaves. I quickly shut the door and poured myself another coffee.

I wish I could embrace this new season, the changing colours, the cooler temperatures and all the cozy sweaters, but I’m having a hard time.

I also wish I loved pumpkin spice. It seems like a fun bandwagon to be on, but I just don’t.

I think I’m having a hard time adjusting and accepting the fact that summer is over because we got ripped off this year in the north. We had the coldest and wettest summer on record in Smithers. July and August are usually my jam. I love the beach and not worrying about a coat and feeling the warm sun on my face. Our lake days were limited this summer.

I was also planning an epic veggie garden that flopped. During the height of the pandemic in March when everyone was huddled inside, my daughter and I started dreaming of gardening. We bought all the necessary equipment and ingredients to start planting some vegetables from seed. We were so hopeful.

Like everything else this year, our hopes were dashed. When the seedlings (and our excitement) grew, we transferred them outside. However, mother nature was against us. The cold and wet weather did nothing to help our babies grow. We also discovered our rain barrel had cracked over the winter and we couldn’t even collect the rainwater in case we would need it later. Turns out we didn’t but still, it would’ve been fun to fill that sucker up.

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The tomato plants that we nurtured from seed months ago are just starting to get little cherry tomatoes on them now. But I think it might be too late for them.

I also worry that my daughter is disappointed. She was so excited to ‘grow vegetables from scrap’ as she called it. As a parent, we always want the best for our children and want them to succeed. It isn’t her fault the weather was against us this year.

There have just been so many disappointing or cancelled events this year. I was hoping at least our garden would flourish and our hard work would pay off. It is so hard for a five-year-old to understand this pandemic.

I’m trying to keep life as normal as possible for my daughters (while also keeping them safe), but my two-year-old has been obsessed with sanitizing everything and I’m pretty sure her first full sentence was “Momma wear mask now?” when we entered a store.

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On the other hand, maybe I’m worrying too much.

Kids are resilient and it is important for them to learn that not everything will work out as we hope. As parents, we just have to keep pushing forward and try to keep the hope alive. I would hate to live in a world where my daughters didn’t want to try something new because of fear of disappointment.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep warm inside while designing a new greenhouse for my poor husband to build next spring.


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