March 23, 2009
I spent all weekend planting things. OUTSIDE things. OUTSIDE, where there are bugs. Worms. Dirt. Nature.
After working diligently for two whole minutes I commented to Jason that this wasn't so bad. This wasn't so bad at all!
We've spent the last 10 months or so going back and forth about whether we really want to stay out here in the suburbs -- we kind of hate it, honestly -- and we were *thiiiiiis close* to making an offer on a condo in our old neighborhood (hell, practically in our old building) right after Ezra was born (hell, he was still pruny and gory) but then waffled for five minutes because HELLO, pruny gory baby and our house wasn't ready to sell (despite our best psychotic nesting efforts) and then the condo went under contract and All The Stuff With Noah happened and finally we both admitted that yes, we really really really do want to move back to the city but it's just not the right time yet, maybe next year, in the meantime, let's get outside and plant some goddamn tulips.
So there I was, planting things -- some bulbs for next year, some shrubs and groundcover and a million and four purple and yellow pansies -- and after I planted the third bulb and STILL hadn't gotten bored and/or irritated enough to wander away from the project, I degreed that yardwork really wasn't so bad.
That's when Jason noticed that I was planting two-year-old dead and dried-out husky shells of bulbs instead of actual living bulbs that would...you know...grow. He suggested I move on to the pansies.
I spent hours planting pansies. Yellow, purple, yellow, purple. We dragged Ezra's Jumperoo out onto the lawn with us, using him as bait to Finally Get Our Neighbors To Talk To Us, while I planted and planted and every exposed inch of my skin broke out in various kinds of rashes (when I was in elementary school and was quizzed on my extremely long list of allergies I usually gave up halfway through and simply said I was allergic to "OUTSIDE").
(Photo not actually representative of this story, but inserted anyway because HELLO TALKY.)
When I was done, I had several garden beds of somewhat pathetic little lines of droopy pansies -- nothing like those landscaping shows that I watch whenever I'm in a "let's make the best of the suburbs!" mood. (Whenever I'm in a "screw this, let's move back to the city!" mood I watch shows about real estate, and whenever I'm in a "we probably couldn't move even if we wanted to because goddamn this economy!" mood I watch the Food Network for 76 hours straight and order a lot of pizzas.)
We still decided it was a Good Start, since the previous owners hadn't exactly exerted a ton of landscaping effort either -- when we visited an area nursery soon after we moved in we found a clearance table all the way in the back that featured every single plant and shrub currently residing in our yard. Next weekend we mulch, or something, I don't know, and then after that we start on some serious vegetable container gardens in the backyard. Or something. I don't know! Last year we grew herbs and tomatoes and this year Jason bought a book and is growing salad and peppers and is promising me all sorts of amazing things and I think he may very well have lost his goddamned mind.
Meanwhile, every indoor plant we brought here from our old condo has died of root rot. I feel very responsible. My misguided belief that we really needed More Closet Space led to plant genocide, including my favorite jade plant, which was the first one to die, and at the time I was all, "oh well, who cares, I have extra bathrooms!" but I've never stopped thinking about that plant, because I loved that plant, and I miss that plant, and how lovely it always looked on the windowsill at our old condo. And while I'm no gardening expert or a pyschologist, I get that it's probably not REALLY about that plant.
Meanwhile, I have a splinter in my foot and my back hurts and I couldn't sleep last night because I was stressing about how we need to cover our new plants with some sheets tonight so they won't freeze and do I have enough clean sheets? But I suppose that's preferable to stressing about April 16th, the freshly-set date for Noah's evaluation with the school district -- speech, motor, hearing, vision, social skills, sensory issues, the whole shebang -- an evaluation that will likely decide for us whether we belong here or elsewhere, whether the district will help him or if we remain on our own, whether it's worth staying where we're unhappy or time to move on, Montessori vs. special needs vs. something in between, public vs. private, suburbs vs. city, whether or not we'll still be here next spring when the periennials return.