Friday, 26 September 2008

No, I'm Alright Thanks. Really.

September is drawing to a close and the gardening club still hasn't started up. It was supposed to this week but thanks to an administrative error by the school it has been postponed until next week.

I am eager to get going. I purposefully haven't done anything to the beds because I want the children to get stuck in. They need to own it, tend to it, remove the dying plants, earth up the leeks, weed, think about what they want to grow, feed the soil, prepare for winter.

Of course, I've got plans so will guide them, gently, towards the garlic bulbs and sweet pea seeds and will cut open the bags of manure (I've heard scarey things about well-rotted stuff from farms so am Playing Safe).

But while it is theirs' it is also mine. Which I think may cause me some problems.

I mean, I'm not a gardener, really. I'm rubbish at it. I don't much like gardening when it's cold or raining so that poses a few problems living here, in the UK. I cannot claim to know the correct name of any plant and when I read those names on others' blogs I switch off. Composting scares me. Will I need two bins for the school? Will I have to turn it and if so how do you do that with those plastic ones that look like wheely bins? Will I single handedly introduce a rat population to the school? See - I know, well, not much.

My enthusiasm did wane toward the end of last term and I'm not sure why. The forgetting to water was dispiriting and sometimes it was hard coming up with things to do. But I am recapturing the old tingle of enthusiasm and I'm looking forward to the new year with new children, hopefully as keen as the last lot.

This project has become more important to me than I perhaps realised. It is doing something special, at least that's how I feel, that is not connected to my everyday life and which is purely (I hope) done for the love of it, which I'm eager to share with the children. And while motherhood is rewarding, it is a bit like baking a cake; you never know the result of your efforts until it's done. Not so with the club. The results of my efforts, via the children's work, can be seen swaying in the breeze or being chomped by slugs.

The sense of achievement is wonderful. I've put a lot of work into the club (not to mention money); I designed the layout and Hubby built it, I redesigned the layout and he moved it; I ran a competition and bought the prizes, gave any child with a birthday a small box of chocolates, produced two newsletters, took numerous photos, set up a display for the open day and updated the club's scrapbook.

And so, really, I don't want to share. I really don't. And now, after writing this, I don't care if I sound like some weird, possessive person with not much going on in her life (I mean how important is any of this, it's only a school gardening club after all). I shall practice my assertiveness instead of stuttering and blustering that I don't need any assistance when told a new mother is going to help (did her friend tell me she is "going" to? Did I imagine that?). I shall smile calmly when told she is - gasp!- a gardener.

I'm not sure how I can convey this to people, without looking strange. Perhaps instead I shall just say a polite no thanks, smile and slip them a piece of paper with this blog address scribbled on it.

1 comment:

  1. Getting kids interested and understanding plants, veg, nature, etc. is so important.

    What you are doing is really special.