Guess what I have in my garden? Tomatoes! Not that this should be a surprise, since I planted them and all. But since I’ve barely been back to check on them, I was kind of surprised when I went back to tie them up–yes, for the first time, in July–and found them not only thriving but with lots of green globes attached. Let me tell you, I would never accept a nomination for Mother Nature. The incumbent does great, and I…I would not.

I’d promised to be back there only long enough to tie up my tomatoes, on account of we were headed for AAA to pick up Eric’s car before they closed and then go to dinner. But when I got back there and saw the result of my neglect, all thoughts of dinner went out the window. Now that I’ve had experience in motherhood, I think I can say that gardening is a lot like it. Specifically, full of guilt. I feel bad when I’m not with Chloe and I feel bad when I’m with her for the things I’m not doing. I feel bad for neglecting my garden and I feel bad for the time I spend on it because it’s time Eric has to spend watching Chloe, and now that he’s home for the summer and watching her full-time he doesn’t get much alone time and I know he’d like me to provide some. But she can’t go back with me in the jungle. There are parsnips growing wild everywhere, and tomatoes trailing on the ground–not anymore, or at least not some;  I only tied up a few before Eric dragged me away because I was busy clearing away the weeds from the poor half-smothered peppers and eggplants, yanking out flowering thistles and threatening-looking pokeweed, swearing roundly at the bindweed and trying to calculate whether the black plastic sheeting I got is going to cover everything. The garden needs to be put down for  the summer, at least the part that keeps killing the plants I put into it. In the fall when the weeds are dead, I’ll figure things out.

I say this all the time. I do keep meaning to get my act together. But Chloe and Eric come first, and since I know I can get at least some food out of a garden mostly neglected, un-neglecting the garden is unfortunately low on my list. But I do need to do some work. Eric can watch Chloe a little more. And the beans and zucchini I planted in the herb garden are actually coming up, unlike everything I put in the vegetable garden, so I’ve got poles to transfer and greens to pull before they seed and oregano to harvest. Eventually I’ll figure out a balance between my garden and the rest of my life. Until then, I’ll keep making plans and seeing how spectacularly I fail at them. I’ve got tomatoes, anyway.