Friday, April 27, 2007

the tomato plants

- Ten-day-old seedlings my son carried home from the cuttings faire.

He tells me over and over again about his baby plants – the fact that they are babies, holding his arms as if cradling an infant and rocking, rocking. Holding his thumb and index finger as close together as they’ll go without touching and scrunching his eyes closed, signifying their littleness.

He picks out a place in the garden where he wants to plant them. “Dare! dare!” he points, jumping in place. I suggest we wait until they’re stronger to remove them from their plastic cup, a little bigger than the two-leaf, one-inch-high sprouts they are now, fragile by any measure. He reluctantly agrees.

They are so different from what they will become: bold, thick-stemmed plants with arms bending to the weight of their charges- green, then reddening into brilliant sunsets. My son has no idea of their potential, no fear of what ills they might contract, but loves them just as they are, knows only to dig the hole and watch.

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