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Build with Her

My dad loved the neighbors garden three doors down, and he was determined that ours looked just as nice, if not nicer. And so he knocked on the neighbors door one day and asked her where she got her plants from, when he should be planting these flowers, and how long it would take for a return on his investment. She handed my father a catalog of flowers alongside of planting information.

And so, there I was on a Saturday morning, in our dining room staring down more than 100 bulbs of tulips, geraniums and other flowers I couldn’t pronounce. The season to plant was here. My dad, the neighbor and I went out into our front yard and prepped it for what was going to be his gift back to the neighborhood, an amazing yard.

Over the next two days we prepped the soil and ultimately planted all the bulbs. The next few months, we often went out into the yard and pulled up the weeds. Not really a chore, but as he would sit on the porch drinking a beer in anticipation of what was to arrive, he would ask me to go into the house and get a bag and we would take a little bit of time pulling up the weeds.

When Spring arrived and that first set of tulips bloomed, there he was standing in the yard admiring his hard work. And month over month he would step back and compare his yard to the one three houses down and if he saw there was room for improvement he would be right there ordering more bulbs that we could plant.

He had his sights on getting better and better over time and he paced his self, not expecting that it would happen immediately. In many ways it taught me to not settle and be mediocre in things that I worked for. I delighted in just as much pleasure, as he did, in seeing our hard work produce such a beautiful yard.

Have you and your daughter worked on something that you have been able to look back at and marvel? No time like the present. You are building lasting memories and perhaps even teaching lessons you didn’t know, along the way.

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