A chubby little hand wrapped around the blue handle of a gardening trowel plunges into the soft moist dirt. A giggle escapes my sweet little three-year-old boy as he plops a towel full of dirt on Grandma’s arm. Beautiful flowers are somewhat abused as Tanner grabs them up by their stems and tosses them unceremoniously into his blue bucket on wheels for delivery to Grandma. Such is the day in the life of our garden with my little helper, Tanner.
One amazing scoop of dirt reveals a great surprise. “Worms!” Tanner yelled as he grabbed them up and put them in the palm of his chubby little hand to show me. Like a shot he was off to get his car. He threw his trowel in the back and dropped the worms in his hand alongside it. He came careening down the cobblestone path and parked right next to where the amazing find was found. He grabbed his trowel and said to me “Me like worms Grandma!” I said to Tanner, “Me like worms too Tanner!”. As I made my way down the row turning up the soil for the next plant Tanner intently looked over my shoulder, his trowel at the ready. As soon as he saw the first wiggle of a worm he would push me out of his way and say, “Tanner do it.” He would then carefully (as carefully as a three-year-old is capable of being careful) plunge his trowel into the ground pulling up a clump of dirt wiggly with worms. I would pull the squirmy little worms out of the dirt and plop them into his chubby little palm. I was thinking he would sit and play with the worms so I was a bit amused when he then took the worms and put them in the back of his car. Tanner spent the rest of our gardening time riding around the garden taking his worms on tour. They stopped to see the duck, the frog, the roosters, the cat and the Moi. They stopped under the plum tree to ring the windchimes. The final stop on the Tanner tour was the 3-foot Gargoyle. At this stop he would scoop up all his worms and take them to see the gargoyle. When the greetings were finished he would say “bye-bye” to the gargoyle and give him a hug. Back to the car the worms would go. Tanner would race down the path back to Grandma to procure a new group of worms to take on tour.