Since then, Bill has had the kids help out with weeding the gardens on a semi-regular basis. And they do a pretty good job, especially Alex. Alex actually seems to enjoy it, as a matter of fact, and is rather serious about the whole thing.
Which was kind of the plan. The other day he had a friend over and they were looking at the garden, and I heard Alex tell the other kid not to pick anything without asking first. If we accomplish nothing else as parents this summer, that's okay - we've accomplished THIS - we've given Alex the opportunity to develop a sense of ownership of the gardens, and the understanding that with all the hard work that goes into caring for carrots and squash and eggplant and tomatoes, vegetables should not be plucked with abandon.
Anyway, yesterday Bill enlisted Alex and Julia's help in weeding the triangle-shaped garden on the driveway side of the fence. This and the garden on the yard side of the fence are the BEST gardens in terms of the amount of sun they get. We've got most of the tomatoes there, along with eggplant, assorted squash, melons (which aren't doing much besides flower) and small patches of scallions, dill, cilantro, bok choy, and, of course, carrots.
The tomatoes on the driveway side are a jungle, basically. This is how our tomatoes look in August - wild and out of control. There was no way to reach over them or between them to weed on the fence side behind them. Especially not for Bill, who is 6' 2". At least, that's what Alex thought. So he willingly took on the task of getting into the tight spots "So you won't have to, Dad."
Bill came into the house to get me. "Want to see some extreme weeding?" Well of course I did, so I went outside and then scurried back in to get my camera before going back out again.
Here's Alex at work:
Can you see him in there?
There he is. He's easier to locate from this side.
Meanwhile, Julia had done enough weeding (in her opinion) and was occupied elsewhere:
Look at him go.
Look at them. My two hardworking men.