Wallace is now on a first-name basis with Gandhi.
For the past few Easters I have make a tiny egg hunt for the mice and all the other little creatures that live in our house. And I realized this year that this mini hunt has become a beloved tradition for the girls. I try to pay attention to these things: the things they remember, the things they tell stories about, and especially the things they describe to Wallace. He takes it all in with such wonder and joy.
Wallace, surrounded by his cousins, at Gousty.
Jane Goodall said that she learned how to be a good mother from watching chimpanzees. During her hours and hours of observation, she witnessed mother chimps and their babies. Mothers do not punish their babies for being “naughty,” Jane said. Instead, mothers redirect their babies when they want to change their behavior or keep them safe.
Our seeds are spread across the dining room table. Packets and packets of garden seeds — some still good, some long past their prime, but I am loath to let them go. Because, where would they go if not into the rich soil beneath my bare feet? I could feed them to the grumpy winter chickens. I could dump them in the frozen woods. I could let my children play with them and plant them in pots and get their hands all dirty and see what might come up.
I ask a farmer friend what he does with his leftover seeds. “Do you save them?” I ask.
“Some,” he answers. “But not the alliums.”
“Oh yes,” I say. “We learned that the hard way. Last year hardly half of our onions came up. The seeds were old. Too old.”
It just begs the question: how long does a seed last? An onion seed. A carrot seed. The seed of an idea in my soul. How long can I keep it in the dark?
Wallace is in this hilarious organizational phase, where he likes to line things up. Everything! Crayons, toy cars, kitchen utensils, animals, books . . . it is funny and cute and sometimes slightly irritating when he doesn’t want us to put ANYTHING away!
Ellen is working on a “curriculum” for Wallace. She is his dream teacher; she will gladly let him stay in his pajamas all day long!