I write and share photos of things we are working on here, of the weddings going on and the many projects but I don't often talk about what this looks like with a little one. While all of this is going on- so is she. We have tried our best to blend these- her childhood amongst the flowers and the projects and I think so far, it has been a really positive experience. There are certainly times when its challenging and an important part in all of this is knowing her limits and planning accordingly. We try our best to explain things to her, to involve her and let her share some of the responsibilities. At almost 6 years old, her flower and vegetable knowledge is better than many adults I know. She sees things that we often overlook and she ask questions that we don't always have the answers for which prompts us to go digging. The balance of it all has been really rewarding. She is happiest covered in dirt and adding a new section to her faerie garden.
There are many factors that have to be taken into consideration and I am certainly not an expert with only one kiddo and no PhD- but I think this hands on, outdoor lifestyle is conducive to a more emotionally stable way of living. Children are curious and they need to touch to see, and to learn and process. Olive is energetic but also calm, she is challenged and rewarded through her learning experiences- often without us even having a hand in it. This way of living has given her a sense of independence and fulfillment and the person that she continues to grow into, is a really beautiful one. Lately I have found myself watching her and just being amazed. Its incredibly emotional to take this step back and watch your little human "get it".
This year with the expansion of the flower field, her job will be to weed sections of it. She is already helping transplanting seedlings, watering seedlings and she has spent a lot of time moving Olive appropriate rocks and branches. None of this happens without some complaining of course and with the occasional bribing with freshly baked cookies.
If you are considering involving your kiddo in some aspect of your work- DO IT! Be patient, plan for the worst and remember to thank them afterwards for their help and patience. You might be shocked to see how responsible they can act when given the opportunity and how helpful they can be ( aka giving them tedious little tasks that keeps them busy and saves you from doing it!)
Being able to have her alongside me while I navigate this journey is so much more than I could have hoped for.