Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Basil Money Plant

Long, long ago, (okay, well maybe like 2 years or so) when I still harbored illusions of being this awesome, crafty, lovely stay-at-home mom, I bought a basil plant.  It was not my first basil plant.  As a matter of fact, I had been pretty effective -- given my thumb is definitely nowhere near a shade of green -- at growing rosemary.  Of course, rosemary is hearty and hard to kill and smells wonderful.  But it makes you feel good when it gets big and beautiful under your care.  So I felt pretty good planting my fragrant sweet basil plant. 

While digging the hole for my tiny fragile plant, who should come calling but a monster of a one-year-old bent on destruction.  Rose, in all her charming toddler curiosity, had grabbed the aformentioned basil plant and pulled it completely apart and out of its temporary, flimsy, plastic pot -- disecting, if you will. 

Aww... the budding little botanist.

I should have reminded her that botanists don't kill -- or they shouldn't.  However, I (because I am naturally such a calm and collected being) shrieked and snatched it back and lectured her for who knows how long on the propriety of touching other people's things.  I'm sure she retained every word. 

I gathered up the massacred plant as my daughter sat playing with rocks.  (She doesn't truamatize easily.  Good thing.)  Since there were a few roots holding desperately to a stem and one-and-a-half leaves, I planted the poor thing anyway and said a little prayer.  And then, of course, I lectured her again while she stared up at me incomprehensively -- or wise beyond her years.  Who knows?

It survived.  I don't know if it's still there today, but it lived!  I watered and tended it and took care of the wee patient until it resembled a healthy member of the garden.  I felt pretty good about it.

What does this have to do with anything?

Well, I was reminded of this story and how I now am that monster one-year-old with the basil plant.  Only the basil plant is my bank balance.  Grrr...  How do I do this to me? 

As a single mom (Oh yeah, I say that a lot.  Get used to it.  I'm still adjusting. I say with love.) with sporadic child support, the four kids and I, along with wonderful helpful parents who depend on my financial contribution as well, live pretty paycheck to paycheck.  Okay, there's no pretty about it.  I am Ms. Squeaking By. 

By God's great and wonderful grace, He provides us with what we need. (Can I get an Amen?)  We are sooooooooo blessed.  Just want to emphasize that.  WAY BLESSED.  Did you get that?  However, it's obviously through no financial wizardry on my part. 

Not even a little.

So I should have been more than a little suspicious when I felt like I could breathe. 

Caution To Self:  If you feel like you can breathe, double check.  Something is wrong. 

But I didn't.  I rejoiced and bought a couple things (not like Caribbean vacation or new handbag, okay?  Like stuff kids needed, blah, blah, blah) and threw caution to the wind.  Yay!  So when I reconciled my checking and found it wanting, I hyperventilated.  Then I called my mommy.

She's awesome.  She listened calmly.  She said stuff like, "I know you don't want us to bail you out."  She's right.  I hate being bailed out.  I just wanted somebody to freak out to in a major, major way.  (See: tears, yelling, whining, et cetera.)  It turns out I put in a small deposit twice.  Seriously? 

Yes, seriously.

So I am at once the monster one-year-old devastating the already fragile plant.  But I am also the amateur plant doctor watching, waiting, tending to make sure the old bank balance plant survives, and maybe one day, thrives.

Thanks, Mom.  I love you guys.

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