Come to my house, hang out with us. Have a chat, have some dinner, but please. Do not go onto my deck. Please do not look at my yard. Let’s just pretend that I don’t have a yard when you come visit me. What does our back door lead to? Whatever will keep you from opening it to reveal my backyard.
When we moved into our house, I remember standing on our deck and looking into our yard and saying, “We need to fix that bald patch of grass in the corner.” Ha! Oh, six-years-ago me. If only you could see the backyard now. What happened? Life. A dog, two children, and unattentiveness.
I am embarrassed to admit that there are now more dirt spots and more bald spots than actual grass in my yard. When my children were a little bit younger they used to play “berries” with the small landscaping rocks. They would put as many of the landscaping rocks in little small buckets and then run around the yard with them, unknowingly bouncing their “berries” everywhere. I never cleaned up those rocks. A large dog rarely aids in creating a beautiful backyard, and my dog is no exception. As a puppy, she pulled out not one but two bushes, roots and all, from our planter boxes and then proceeded to tear the bushes to shreds. That was a sad day. The planter boxes still sit abandoned of any plants.
Despite this mess of a yard, my girls absolutely love playing in our backyard. They’ll stay out back for hours. The things they love about our yard help me feel at ease when I look out and see our landscaping disaster. Here’s what I see and here’s what they see.
I see: A playhouse that is too small for my girls.
They see: Their own personal playhouse that is the perfect size for an office that they have the freedom to decorate however they want.
I see: Empty planter boxes lacking any type of life.
They see: The makings of [dirt] soup, the ingredients for cookies, and a witch’s potion.
I see: Bald spots lacking any sprig of greenery.
They see: An oven for cookies.
I see: Holes dug by the dog.
They see: Places to bury treasure.
I see: Scattered small landscaping rocks.
They see: So many berries to pick.
I see: Ugly dandelion weeds.
They see: A beautiful bouquet just waiting to be picked.
I’m still mortified when one of my guests looks out to my backyard, but it certainly helps to know that my girls are having so much fun creating their own little world in our backyard. I don’t have to worry about their decorations and creations messing up my pristine yard, I just let them create and be. One day we will have a backyard that has green grass with beautiful flowers, but this is not the season for that. Not right now.