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plant papa

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

Hi there.

Nice to see you again.

Last Friday morning was just another morning: gym, breakfast, squeezing in a random craft that I don’t really have time for...and plant singing.

As a youngin, I was a big fan of the Frog and Toad series. One of the stories in Frog & Toad Together is called “The Garden.” Toad sees Frog’s beautiful garden and wants to grow one of his own, but he’s impatient waiting for his seeds to grow. He shouts at them, he reads them a long story, and he plays music for them. Eventually, his seeds sprout, and he has his own beautiful garden.

I wish I could say that I’m Frog or Toad in this story – either the elegant garden master or the passionate, aspiring one – but alas, Dennis has stepped in as caretaker of the tiny seeds that sit under a grow lamp on the table near one of the few windows in our apartment, desperately grasping at any rays of natural light.

Our peace lily and lucky bamboo have somehow managed to survive for several months now. One day, I’ll spend time greening my thumb, but that time is not now – even though I’m the one who bought our plants with wholesome intentions of boosting air quality and imbuing our cozy little home with vibrant nature. I even chose plants that are absurdly easy to care for.

Even so, Dennis is the one who’s in charge of them. He gives the peace lily ⅓ cup of water daily, and he changes the bamboo water once a week. They’re still alive and, not only that, they’re – minus the one (out of three) bamboo stalk that petrified – content. I would even venture to say they’re downright happy.

Now he has a new project. For Christmas, I received a grow light setup with seeds. A few days later, I set it on the kitchen table as a reminder to figure it out after work. Before I left for work about five minutes later, Dennis had opened the box, examined the seeds, and was researching the best way to set it up. There it was when I came home: parsley and rosemary ready to go. He had also fashioned his own hydroponic system for basil next to it: a plastic cup with water and a cork cut in three thin slices to hold seeds.

Here we are a few weeks later. I glance over at the seeds every day to see what’s up, but Dennis sits by them and stares attentively every single morning. He leans over them and talks to them, “Hey, little guys! Why aren’t you growing yet?”

He has officially become a Plant Papa.

Funny enough, the only tiny plants growing are the ones in his homemade cork system. The other night he showed me the long roots in the water, smiling with pride.

Flash forward to this morning:

“Do you want to sing to them?” I ask him quietly.

“Nah...I don’t want to scare them,” he replies. “You sing to them!”


“Sing Edelweiss!”

I sing the first few lines, and he whispers, “Sing Basilweiss.”

So I do. I sing Basilweiss to those tiny little plants, trying their darndest to grow.


All in all, it's a pretty decent metaphor for our current IVF journey. Both are an almost intolerable waiting game. (A lot of waiting. And waiting. And waiting...) Both require patience and tolerance and faith in the miracle of life. And both teach us that so many things are out of our control, so we do the best we can and go along for the ride.

I might have a green thumb one day. But until then, I can watch my husband learn how to be a Plant Papa in preparation for the journey of parenthood, while I practice relinquishing control. (#flipswitch)

Thanks for stopping by. And keep sharing your stories, because someone wants to hear them.


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