We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tonio, on gardening

         Each morning, that I am able to take the bambini to school, we walk through the rear gate, past the pre-school, past the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms, holding hands, saying good morning to all of the teachers who bravely stand among the swarming, energized children...to Kim's 'Smiles Grown Here' garden.
        The kids love a little quite time as they take in the beauty of the flowers, shaded by mesquites.  Autumn will sit on the stone bench that was added by the PTSA...Tonio will pick out bits of fallen mesquite pods...and weeds. 
        Last week, he noticed some exceptionally large weeds had invaded the garden.  Each morning, he would try, in vain, to remove them.  Finally, yesterday, he succeeded in ripping off a large part of the stalk.  It was so big, he could not throw it over the fence into the desert.  Cody went over to help him. 
        After school, his teacher, Jenny Rienstra, told me how during recess, Tonio once again attempted to remove these large weeds.  "He had a good day in class and finished his work", she smiled with a thumbs up..."But...he's obsessed with those weeds!"
          I was glad he had a good day, so did Autumn.  I told Tonio, let's go home, change and come back to school with shovels and bags for the weeds.  "Thanks Dad.  I'm obsessed with those weeds!"  Parroting Jenny : ) !
         And we did.  His little friends Monis and Alyssa were still there and quickly came over to help.  We dug out the largest ones and pulled the little ones.  Tonio was finally satisfied.  At peace.  He carefully and lovingly, replaced the memorial stone for Kim's 'Smiles Grown Here' garden.  "There."  He said, standing back to admire his work.  "Now everyone can see Mama's stone and read it too!"

          It was hot and humid as we left Cottonwood to drive over to Cienega to pick up Cody.  But Tonio was not finished gardening yet.

          These guys know how much Kimmy loved her garden.  She'd sit out there most mornings...and spend at least a few hours a week trimming, dead heading flowers, etc.  Her neat little piles of clippings along the top of the garden wall - I'd follow behind her with a garbage bag cleaning up.  She understood the therapeutic value of a garden - it is why she felt so strongly about having a 'functional' garden at the school for the inclusion kids to be able to dig and plant flowers and to have for the entire school to enjoy...This time of year, with the monsoon, brings growth, greenery and a kaleidoscope of color from the flowers...
          I told the kids there were tigers out back.  And, possibly, jaguars.  Recent rains had the grass growing rapidly (a good thing!), weeds too.  So, Tonio came out and helped me get things back under control. I have all of the kids help in the garden from time to time.  When a plant or flowers need to be replaced, I will have them choose what they'd like to add to Mama's garden. Tonight,  Tonio weeded.  And when I trimmed up the olive trees, he raked the clippings into piles (carefully rehanging the few angels left in the large olive tree out front) and heaved the piles into the waiting garbage can.  He picked ripe cherry tomatoes after weeding our little garden (basil, egg plant and cherry tomatoes).  Watched me cut the grass and trim the edges...and then went hunting frogs - he found two little frogs and a lizard!

           Tonio had restored order to two gardens that he loves, that give him some sense of closeness to his Mama, the gardens that she so loved...the flowers attract beautiful hummingbirds and butterflies that the kids will sit and watch.  Recent rains have the garden looking the best it has since Kimmy lovingly tended to it up through last September...the bambini find smiles out there...


1 comment:

  1. It's great to see how the kids are growing up and taking traits of their mom. I'm so glad Antonio was obsessed with getting rid of those weeds in her garden. Kim is so proud of her little guy!