The jury will remain forever out on the question of whether or not I would have been a good mommy, because I'm not a mommy. My own take on it is that I would have been a really good mommy, depending upon the decade that judged me, and whether my children died or not. That's probably what it comes down to.
Because I would have had all the big, uncomplicated love. I'm sure of that. It came through unfiltered from my mom. She had the big love and surrounded me with it whether I deserved it or not, and as much as I vexed her as a teenager, I never had a doubt about her love. She's been gone over thirty years, and it's still around me, like permanent swim-floaties in the sea of life.
I'm that way in my garden. I have put in all sorts of plants that probably don't belong there, things that would be as big as Volkswagens in their native territory, but wouldn't fill a Radio Flyer here in the best of circumstances. And I never give them the best of circumstances. I give them a chance, and then it's all a matter of their own ambition and the vagaries of climate. "Here you go," I say. "You've got dirt covering all your original roots. Go for it. If you die, you die."
|Still Camp Margo|
But then there's our lemon tree. Picked that sucker up at least 25 years ago and put it in a pot. It's incredibly talented at not dying. It was supposed to be hardy down to 20 degrees F, and it is. That doesn't mean it's happy that cold. We've basically bonsai'd it through sheer neglect. We watched it soldier through a decade of winters on our patio; for most of them it held onto its increasingly morose, cracked leaves, and dropped them every spring, before starting afresh. And then one year it eked out a fragrant flower and a little green lemon-bud, about a half hour before winter. And this is what it has done since. It flowers more or less anytime, with no regard for day length like a sensible plant, and each flower motivates toward full lemonhood in about a year. We got our first edible lemon only about twenty years in, but the plant itself will not die. The pot is inconveniently constricted at its neck, and every time it occurs to me to try to re-pot it, something else like a dental procedure presents itself as more fun. It's got its original soil--looks as rich as ground cigarette filters.
|Margo of Camp Margo|
They can reproach me all they want. You can't count on your kids bearing fruit, either, but if you can keep them alive, that should be good enough.