My daughter, Josie, loves playing in the dirt. On the way to the park, she will get distracted, lose sight of the promise of the swings to stop and play in a big puddle. Mud soup, she calls it, as she stirs it around with a long stick. This year we planted our little container garden together.
I think it was one of the best days of her little life, so far. She loved pushing the dirt into the pot. At one point she turned to me and said sunshine, water, and love is what this plant needs to grow. Even though I know it as a line from Sesame Street, when she made the connection, something from TV to something real --the dirt, our basil plant--as the internets likes to say, I DIE.
The best thing about the garden is that we recently picked a ton of basil and made pesto together. She put the leaves in the food processor, counting each one, and then adding handfuls of parmesan cheese and walnuts. We poured olive oil over the top and pulsed, pulsed, pulsed, my hand over hers, pushing the button (recipe here). She begged me to try a bite, which is a huge deal considering she is currently not accepting applications from new foods. She took a spoonful, looked completely stunned, asked for a glass of water, and told me it burned her tongue.
You can't win them all.