Friday, March 5, 2010
A Tree Grows in L.A....
We went to the ceremony to receive this tree and we were called up to the front and handed an enormous stick with angry looking branches. Not a leaf in site.
I'm not good with trees. Or herbs...or grass. Eventually almost every green thing I care for withers and dies or at best, shows moderate if unimpressive signs of life.
Anyway, we were told we had 24 hours to plant the tree and I wondered if the tree turned into something unspeakable if I didn't. After all, it didn't look so friendly to start with.
My daughter was really excited about her tree (now named "Plum-y") and hounded me till the 11th hour the next day to plant it.
"It's gonna DIE!" she kept telling me. I didn't tell her it would probably die anyway...if it were even alive to begin with.
So we drove all the way to the gardening store and I bought super healthy soil (per the salesman), a shovel and a small hoe.
We live in a rental house, so I was hoping that planting a tree on the compound wasn't some kind of lease violation as I dug out the one tiny, empty dirt area in our courtyard.
I had to dig with the shovel and rip up a ton of all the old roots from plants that formerly tried to thrive there. It surprised me how strong a root system there was in a 4 x 6 dirt patch that showed barely any signs of life above surface. But $60 of gardening equipment, a strained back from shoveling heavy dirt and one hour LATER, I had a hole big enough and clean enough to plant our "free" tree.
I fertilized it, made sure it was upright, and I packed it lovingly - for my daughter - in hopes that maybe it would show signs of life...eventually.
And it stood alone, a big pointy stick in a bare patch of dirt, in a tiny courtyard of our house in the city of Los Angeles.
Every day, I watered that tree. I checked on it during the recent storms. I nurtured the earth. I made sure it got some worms, I checked to see it got sun. I wanted to see Izzy's tree survive.
"You should talk to your tree." Our nanny suggested. "They like that." And she did.
Meanwhile, I vigilantly kept watering, fertilizing, and protecting that little stick.
Izzy talked to me non-stop about the plums that would surely grow from her tree. "It might take a while" I told her. A long, long while...I thought.
"Isabel! Come look! Plumy's alive! She has leaves!"
Izzy RAN outside and was jumping up and down! "YAY! Plumy's alive! Plumy's alive! We're going to have plums!
I was so glad the tree was alive. And was SO proud of myself I was able to nurture it to this stage. Yay me!
Izzy said "Mommy! Cecelia (our nanny) was right! I talked to the tree and now she's alive!"
Motherhood can be so thankless.
So Izzy has her tree, my nanny gets the credit, and I'm stuck with some kind of lease violation that will surely cost me money.
That tree had better yeild some pretty f*#king tasty plums...