Having two tiny children has somewhat of a detrimental effect on my gardening. Actually, I think just being me might have a bit of a detrimental effect on the garden; I have wonderful visions of a gorgeous flowers and dozing in a whole nest of cushions while lovely calm relaxing smells waft around me. The cushions, I’ve got, I’m still waiting on the free time to doze, but I’m sadly lacking the green fingers to make the rest of the daydream much of a reality
I might get away with it too with a little careful picture staging, and a few fuzzy backgrounds. But when my parents gave Kitty a rose that shares her name for her first Christmas present, I knew that I wanted a chronicle of both rose and daughter, year by year as they grew and bloomed. And this year that means taking pictures on a slightly weedy patio, with a little bush whose pruning was not top of the to-do list in the tiny fragments of my free time that shattered across our long cold spring.
As much as I like my pictures to be beautiful and lovely, it matters more to me that I catch and record these fleeting moments, even if it means being known across the internets for having a sycamore seedling nursery sprouting across my patio, than that there be no record of the two Kittys’ third summer (and on the plus side, at least the Christmas tree is out of shot).
Fortunately Kitty the rose is a hardy little thing, and in that brief window after the garden recovered from the weeks of continual drenching from wall to wall rain, and before it all sizzled into a crisp, it rewarded us with a handful of blooms; enough to scent the breeze at the end of the day and peer invitingly around the back door.
As far as Kitty’s concerned, that’s an invitation to play confetti, and therein lies the reason why there might not have been quite as many petals on the rose when we finished as when we started.
It seems like it’s Kitty the girl whose sprouted the most again this year, even if you include the one stem that’s still taller than her (which I probably should have pruned). Because she’s changing more slowly than in previous years, and more slowly than Elma, I don’t see it as clearly. It’s only when the trousers that I bought in the sale but put away because they drowned her are suddenly the perfect length, or she climbs into the bath one evening not just all by herself, but by herself and without bothering to find her little step up, that I wonder when all this growing was going on.
There’s such a change, not just from the baby, only a couple of months older than Elma is now, still a bit wobbly sitting up, who was just starting to stand as long as there was someone to hold on to, but even from the little girl she was last year. Still on the cusp of baby to toddler, dancing with her Daddy, and chatting away in Kitty-babble.
Twelve months or so later she’s taller, stronger, chatty, giggly, just as adoring of her family, for the most part caring and careful of her baby sister, and very very two.
And so I’m glad to have this marker in our family’s year, not a birthday or any specific date at all, just a season of rose petals in which to step back from the intensity of daily life and pay attention to my little girl, this moment right now, before she changes again.
PS – In other news, I have now de-weeded the patio. Apparently photography is the one motivating factor that actually works where garden tidying is concerned.
PPS – H does own more than one jumper, I promise.