Friday, August 3, 2012

With One Hand Tied Behind My Back

I have only one child, college-bound Handsome Son. And while I have been a single mother, as the eldest, I have lots of kidcare on my life experience list. As a sister, though it is different than a parent. For example, growing up in the back-end of nowhere, it was important if we were out walking not to lose anyone, no matter how much we would have preferred it. So it does not surprise that I jest that we tied to a tree, my younger sister who could not keep up. She was the younger sister who collected splinters in high school basketball. She was the younger sister that still trying to keep up with her older sister (and surprisingly didn't learn to swim until she was in her twenties at the behest of no less than the USA Olympic Committee), first saw her older sister row on Lake Wingra for the UW-Madison and decided she could do that better than me; the younger sister who eventually was to be an Olympic rower (yes, THE Olympics). (Pictured 7th row, 2nd from the right.)

But, I digress.

The kids in my family are spread out across two generations. My brother and his wife could be my children; his children, my grandchildren. So it is not surprising that in addition to the Twins who are very good gardeners and pick out what they want to grow in the garden at just three, that their Baby brother spends a lot of time there, too. Baby Gardener has already spent a lot of time upside down watching me pull weeds and making grunts at appropriate times.

I have been painting our farm market signs with Baby Gardener in one arm, too. His parents and I jest that he will certainly tell stories that he weeded the whole garden and painted each and every one of those signs that first year, he spends so much time on my hip.

And this summer, while his mother is off working at her big job, Baby Gardener is being a baby like many generations of babies before him, being carried around while a woman is doing other work.

I told my brother, I have no doubts women invented the sling, purse, bushel basket, backpack and the like, just so they could get more done with one arm tied behind their back.

Women do more, because they can.


  1. Very adorable nephew, and a wonderful story about your olympic little sister.

  2. He IS quite the charmer and such a happy baby, too. The Twins have been begging to watch the "Ogre Rimp Mix". We adults are assuming that's the Olympics that take place under bridges among trolls.

    They are also asking for swimming lessons so they can grow up to be Michael Phelps. The Olympics seems like a possible dream for them. I wish that was true for every young child everywhere.

  3. I remember those mangled words of the toddler years! My older son had "fujijables" for fruits and vegetables, and "hoopamanus" for hippopotamus. Also, my favorite, "dullnozer" for bulldozer. I always thought dullnozer would be a good description of certain people I know. Now 25, he seems weary when we remind him of his toddler vocabulary.