Like many gardeners, I have often dreamed of having a potting shed. Much like Virginia Woolf’s “room of one’s own,” I longed for a place that was mine, but dedicated to gardening rather than writing. After all, being a writer that works from home, I have a corner on that writing/reading space already! What I wanted was a place that was dedicated only to tools and supplies for my garden. A place where I could store gloves and shoes, line up pots that might be waiting to hold something glorious or might just be destined for emptiness for a while, and keep the fertilizers and potting soils where I didn’t have to walk around lawnmowers and weed eaters to get to it all.
I now have one, and it is beautiful. Technically it isn’t mine yet. Bill is in the process of building a garage, and in the meantime he needed a place to store his bigger tools. So I came home from the store one day to find a building project started up by the vegetable garden. It was to be my potting shed, he told me, but first it’s a place for his stuff.
The kids got on board with the project really fast, and spent weekends helping hammer nails and holding wood while dad sawed. So of course when it came time to paint, they wanted in on that too.
“We’re going to paint flowers on it,” Caroline proudly announced. I have to admit, I squashed that dream pretty quickly. I love my kids, but they’re definitely not Monet, and I didn’t want the first thing people saw as they drove up our driveway to be some sort of sloppy, child-like mural. But Bill convinced me to let him handle things, and now I’m glad I did.
Last weekend they painted the shed, and the kids had a blast. They feel like it’s as much theirs as it is mine and Bill’s, and they’re very proud of it. And they have every reason to be. Bill did allow Caroline to paint her flowers on it, and of course Carter had to pitch in too. Dad helped a little, drawing an outline for them to color in so that it wasn’t freeform painting on something so permanent. And he was very patient as they painted the walls with him, clumsily wielding brushes, dropping rollers in the dirt, and spilling paint at inopportune moments.
As I toyed with how to write this blog, a lot of ideas came to mind. What I learned about being a parent, the angst that comes with letting go (but the ultimate benefit), letting my kids be themselves, and being open to new things were just a few that rose to the top.
But in the end, I decided to steer clear of the preachy moments. Instead, I’m just using this space to brag about my beautiful new potting shed. And in true gardener’s fashion, I’m already planning what to plant around it!