When I was a little girl, my parents (my mother, mostly) had a huge garden: half an acre or so, with potatoes, carrots, radishes, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, zuccini...Until I was ten or eleven, I didn't know stores even sold potatoes. I thought everyone either grew their own or got a grocery bag full from someone like my mom. By spring, we were eating the last of them and still had enough left with sprouting eyes to plant for the next crop.
My sister and I (and many of our cousins and friends) worked hard in that garden (gardens, really, since there were 2 in town and a giant one on the farm), when we were still so small the shovel handles whacked us in the head each time we jumped on them to dig. Now that V is mobile and fascinated by everything and everyone, I think of those days spent gardening, and I want her to experience at least a little bit of that joy. And sure, there's a part of me that looks at her and thinks "When I was your age, I was already weeding crabgrass and plucking potato bugs." So there's a little bit of an impulse for her to suffer as I've suffered. Mostly, though, I just want her to love the feel and smell of dirt between her fingers, and enjoy the strength in her own hands and the warmth of this soil. Is that too much to ask?