I am not the best at adulting.
My office looks like The Room of Requirement, my dishes are never completely done, and the other day I looked up from bed and saw a pile of clean diapers on our dresser – and Noah has been potty-trained for at least two years.
Chris joins me in admitting to not being the best adulter.
Light bulbs take weeks to get changed, we shove garbage down into the bag with greater pressure than a car crusher, and yard work is right out.
(My Mother, who is an actual Master Gardener by certification, often drops by and plants things out of pity – but only things that she has researched and ensured cannot be killed.)
We manage to cover over segments of our bad adulting by paying for lawn service and having a cleaning crew of angels come every other week. But they know all of our secrets of bad adulting. If my cleaning ladies weren’t so adorable and understanding, I’m sure they’d have conversations like,
“I wonder if she ever plans on moving that pile of diapers. Isn’t Noah almost five?”
“I know right?? And how about this junk mail that’s been on her end table for six months? You think she even sees it anymore?”
“I’m sure she doesn’t. Ew! I just found another moldy sippy cup! I wonder how long this one’s been here…”
So yeah. Don’t look for me to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens anytime soon.
One area of our general life maintenance that we often let slip is the back of our backyard. We play in our front yard, and the back-backyard desperately desires to be a natural area, boasting weeds that can grow faster than those old ladies in the grocery store claim children grow (“Enjoy every second because in a blink they’ll be married!” <BLINK BLINK BLINK> “YOU ARE A LIAR, Old Lady!!”), and a natural ecosystem that begs us to let it be. For instance, if we didn’t let our back-backyard go wild the summer of 2011, where would Yard Bunny have raised her beautiful babies? We provided a home for a family AND the perfect observational Science lesson for Ali. All by not doing yard work.
So, although some years we’ve fought it back better than others, 2015 was not one of those years. Between sickness and surgery and house flooding and all the other blessings this year has brought us, the back-backyard was not high on the priority list, so it reverted back into natural ecosystem mode – perhaps thicker than it has ever been.
For reference, this Dandelion-like plant in comparison to my 5’5” self – make sure you note the top of the plant by its white fronds:
I told you it can GROW SOME SERIOUS STUFF, y’all.
But the other day, as I was driving into the garage, I caught sight of something out of place in the back-backyard. I walked out there, thinking that SURELY it wasn’t what I thought it was, then eagerly yelled for the children to come see.
We. Had our own pumpkin patch.
Growing around and encircling a large tree branch that had fallen during our mini-tornado (that we’d never bothered to remove because ADULTING) was a giant Pumpkin vine, sprawling in every direction.
It boasted of one perfect, medium-sized white pumpkin on the outside, two more equally-sized white pumpkins behind the branch, many large flowers giving the hope of future pumpkins, and Fred the Cat as a guard for our Secret Garden.
My first thought was one of Great Relief…
We are growing our own pumpkin patch this year so there is NO WAY I will find myself in another Pumpkin Patch Disaster! When we are ready for pumpkining there will be no lines, no hot hay ride, and no interminable waiting. We will walk out to our backyard and pluck a pumpkin! Maybe we should offer a pumpkin patch field trip for our equally-traumatized friends…
My second thought was one of curiosity. How exactly had we ended up with a pumpkin patch? They’re not exactly a common weed indigenous to these parts…
I discussed this mystery with Chris the evening after our discovery, and slowly, we were both able to piece together how this little yard miracle had occurred.
Last year, we had bought some pumpkins. Said pumpkins got moldy (much like these 2010 pumpkins) and for some reason, instead of throwing them in the trash like normal people, we threw them out into our natural area…
And those said pumpkins made babies like bunnies. Because clearly, our natural area is an aphrodisiac for pumpkins and rabbits alike.
So the moral of this story is: when you let things go, fantastically surprising things come back to you. So quit adulting and let life grow how it wants.