My bean teepee has done well this summer, and has been a fun introduction into a vegetable garden beyond my usual tomatoes. When I planted my vegetables, I had great romantic visions of teaching the kids all about how things grow, and plucking the fruits of our labor together as folk music swelled in the background.
Not so much.
I don’t know why I always imagine myself as different than I am. Which is to say, how could I forget that I am the world’s bitchiest control freak?? In reality, I found myself sneaking out to the garden while the kids were otherwise occupied, just so I could pick beans in peace. Inevitably, Ruthie would always find me and beg to help, I would get frustrated, and a big record scratch sound would cut off the swelling folk music of my imagination.
She is so cute, and so helpful, and so capable of helping – yet I cannot seem to let go of my need to do everything my way.
One of the things I ‘have concerns’ about, is the possibility of an entire vine coming undone if she yanks too hard on a bean. To try and compromise, I held the base of vine that connected to the bean so Ruthie could safely pull the bean off. She eventually became frustrated by this, because she is, after all, a smart and capable little girl. And what’s scary, is that she knows it.
One day, after whining over and over about doing it herself, and me clenching tighter and tighter to my need to be in control, Ruthie literally shoved me out of the way, tenderly pinched the base of the bean stalk, and successfully plucked the bean off the vine, just as she had seen me doing. I laughed lightheartedly, scruffed her hair a little, and she beamed as I held out the bucket for her to drop the bean into.
We finished that harvest together, each picking our own beans, and me leaving her the hell alone.
She’s a tough cookie, that one. She’ll do alright out in the world – especially if she can manage her own mother.