The weather was unseasonably beautiful today, and Chloë and I went out to the garden. She was mesmerized by the worms I dug up while clearing out the path (to be filled with wood chips in a week and a half, I hope), and wanted her own shovel to help me dig. She tried to help me dig up and smooth down the new bed, and was delighted to plant peas in the holes I made with my gloved finger. “Can you hold these for me?” she said excitedly, shoving the extra seed packets I’d handed her so she could properly hold the peas and drop them, one at a time, into the designated holes. We planted Alaska peas and Golden Sweets and some Christmas lima beans, and then a row of carrots. “See, these seeds are little,” I explained, over her “Can I do that?” which I heard no more than, oh, seventeen times while we were out. “You pinch some and sprinkle them in this row, like this.” I let her try. She didn’t do too badly. She was thrilled when I let her use the spade to cover them up afterward, and sorry when I said it was time to go inside.

But we’ve got wonders inside, too: the onions and leeks and cotton that she helped plant. (Plus a tester pea and bean plant to see if I’ve got rabbits and if they’re going to bother that bed; if they are, then I’ll go get netting in the next couple of days.) “Way-ow,” she breathed, seeing the shoots popping out of the little Jiffy pots. And then, “Can I have one?” So I let her eat a shoot. We should have planted more.

Chloe among the seedlings