May 12, 2013

Irises, redux

You are probably not as interested in irises as I am. In fact, I'm not all that interested in them. Outside of the fact that they are pretty. And some varieties smell rather nice. And they remind me of my grandmother.

Actually, that's a lot of stuff that makes it sound like I am totally interested in irises.

There are other things far, far more important. My little family, for one. My work. Friends. Neighbors. Reading Harry Potter with my 7-year-old (who wants me to call him Jay now). Taking the kids to their sports and concerts and play dates. Heading out for a play date or two of my own.

But I like to garden. I like it so much that I manage to play in the garden about once every six months. Which means that in the 8 years I've lived in this one spot, I have played in my garden perhaps 16 times. Total.

And not once have I played with my irises.

Though I did accidentally spray a few with weed killer last year. That was not pretty.

I should play with them, though. They need moving, badly, out of the shade and into the sun. Which I may have mentioned last year, in the penultimate blog post before my rather long break.

I haven't moved them. And yet, somehow, they are defying the odds. They have budded. And in another week, maybe 2, they will bloom.

In the past year, while I have been not moving my irises, Peabo turned 14. He grew 4 inches, and given that he's suddenly gotten just a little bit rounder, I'm betting we're in for a killer growth spurt this summer. He started high school, and then started again in a place that makes him so happy he comes home smiling, even on a bad day. He is also learning the best lesson I can teach him: to identify what he needs to feel safe, accepted and competent, and to advocate for it appropriately. He reads voraciously, when he's not playing video games or listening to podcasts about them. He wants to be a journalist - a video game journalist, of course - and he's starting to figure out what he needs to do to get there. I find this to be pretty darn cool.

My diva turned 11. She no longer feels the term "veggie girl" applies, and given that she's abandoned broccoli florets and will eat only the stems, she is probably right. She's also leaving elementary school for middle school in another month. And the middle school she's going to is phenomenal. An arts school that will let her explore her inner writer, actor, musician and artist. My girl can sing. Have I mentioned that? She can sing. Beautifully. She can write, too. She writes songs, her own form of poetry. And she writes stories. She is creative and athletic and still impresses me daily with her willingness to jump in head first and try something new.

And Jay, my redhead, is now 7. He is tall and wiry and still redheaded, though the color has faded just another shade closer to brown. He's figured out that his eyes look green when he wears a green shirt. He now likes to wear green shirts. He tried 2 new sports and realized that neither one is soccer. So we're signing him up for more soccer. He does all his homework without prompting, can spell like a maniac, and absolutely loves math. Loves it. To the point where he asked me recently if he could please go to a middle school that specializes in math, and did I think he was going to get into a good college? He's in 2nd grade. Clearly he is a planner.

In the past year we have also acquired a puppy, a smallish fellow named Figglebob Lloyd, or Flloyd for short. He can chew through even the super-tough black Kong toys and is generally smarter than everyone else in the house. We're trying to make him stupid so we can train him properly.

So there you have it. Peabo is smiling. My diva is exploring. Jay is planning. And Flloyd is creating just enough chaos to keep things interesting.

And my irises are blooming again.