Fireflies: April Reflections: Fun Through Failure         

Apr 2, 2012

April Reflections: Fun Through Failure

Upon completing first grade, I felt as if I'd learned just about everything there was to know; so with an entire summer stretching before me, I needed a challenge. My best friend, Maria, was the person to help me come up with a plan. We sat on the sidewalk, sucking on sunflower seeds, seeing who could spit shells the farthest, trying to decide what to do. That's when the brainstorm hit us. Why not grow our own sunflowers and make our own sunflower seeds? We could have enough to last us all summer and maybe even sell some to make money! Why, we were so excited we could hardly wait to tell our parents. However, selling them on the idea wasn't so easy. First, my parents said it wouldn't work, we didn't know how to do it, where would we plant them and on and on.  Secondly, Maria lived with her grandparents who spoke almost no English and she couldn't even get them to understand what a sunflower was. Finally, we got my parents to give us money for the seeds probably because we wouldn't stop begging. We chose to dig and plant them in Maria's yard since her grandparents didn't have any idea what we were doing anyway.  The plan was in motion: weeding, watering, even building a little fence around our precious sunflower seeds. Then we waited...and  waited...watered...waited...watered...waited...YES! At last, oh my, did those seeds ever grow, and grow, AND GROW! It wasn't long before they were way over our heads, then higher than we could believe! Huge big sunflowers began to bloom out and then tiny seeds appeared in the face of the sunflower! 

Maria and I danced around our sunflowers, screaming and laughing!  We could just taste those delicious, salty seeds in our minds.  Every day we'd crane our little necks to try and see how big the seeds looked, until our patience gave out and we decided to chop down the sunflowers. We got hammers and began pounding until my daddy came to our rescue and cut them down. It took Maria and I most of the day to hand pick the seeds out of the sunflowers. The next morning would be the test of all our hard work.  Mom boiled a pot of water for us and we dumped in the greater part of a box of salt, then added our seeds. We left them for a few minutes, then drained them and let them cool. Now the moment had come - we each put a seed in our mouth, ready for that incredible sensation - and spit all right! Yuck! It was awful! We looked at each other, just about ready to cry, but instead, we both began to laugh! For seven year olds, this had been a mighty fine adventure!

This month we are excited to share books about gardens and seeds and spring. We hope you will be inspired to plant something with your child(ren).  The anticipation of seeing seeds sprout never gets old and you can plant in something as small as a can or go crazy in your backyard!  Hopefully you'll have better luck than Maria and I did with our sunflowers! But even that is memory that brings a smile and a longing to munch on some sunflower seeds.