Momma Bear undeniably has a tickle in her throat. Shall I blame the regional corn harvest for tossing Zea mays dust into the winds? Allergies? I think I am just beat.
In the nursery, Beren has a Display Only section. He selects the best looking plants and arranges them. When someone comes to pick up plants, he asks, "Did they take anything from the Display Only?" It sounds more like Dispway O-knee. "No, of course not," Jared or I tell him.
At times, a customer will pick up when just Beren and I are home. He'll refuse to go outside with me. He's used to hearing from strangers, "OH THAT HAIR. I LOVE THAT HAIR. WHERE DID YOU GET THAT HAIR?"
He'll later tell me, "I HATE when people say that." "Me, too," I agree. Once we were lucky, and Beren liked a customer's wife. She spoke to Beren like a person, and he readily toured her around the grounds. I commented on the magical chemistry, and the customer said his wife had years of pre-school experience. A ha.
Sometimes I use the Display Only section as a carrot. "A customer is here to pick up plants. Please show the customer the Display Only section," I'll say. He gets his shoes on and meets the customer. "This is Display Only." By announcing himself and his intent, we can usually bypass the OH YOUR HAIR comments.
Sometimes for bragging rights, I'll hand Beren a potted plant and say, "Beren, can you put this plant by the coral honeysuckle?" The customer will look incredulous. Beren will put the plant next to the honeysuckle. He's more than a bunch of platinum hair.
Beren also wonders why people have to take our plants. "We grow them so the bees and butterflies have food. There are places with no food, and people want to help the animals. They want to have flowers to pick, just like we do. We save some for ourselves, and sell most to people who need them." My explanation usually satisfies him, but he's asked me this many times. The Display Only helps.
I had a similar feeling when Jared and I started out. The plants were a lot like our children. They still are, but over time, I found that feeling ebbed. The plants belonged more the land, and year after year, we could successfully grow more. Some plants failed to thrive, through fate or lack or experience. More perhaps they were just tough to grow, unique, and specialized. But most plants did fine.
While I could say more about this, Beren tells me he's been playing with the circus toys. I'm punching back in on parent-time.