Zach is obsessed with plants in a way that makes Mike and I hope he will eventually become a famous botanist capable of supporting his parents in their dotage, in order to make all of this feel worthwhile (his plant obsession, not parenting in general). He is relentless in a truly hilarious way. He doesn’t just insist on identifying every plant he sees (either by shrieking, “mant!”, “tree”, or “gass!” depending on what it is), he insists that you acknowledge it as well, and if you don’t, he will continue to shriek excitedly until you say, “Yes, Zach, that IS a mant! And what a beautiful mant it is! Why, I think there might even be one HUNDRED mants here! Can you even believe it? I, myself, cannot believe it.” He used to point at specific plants while in the car, but now he just waves his arm around indiscriminately while yelling “MANT!” as though to say, “Behold the splendour of nature! Mants, mants as far as the eye can see!” We live across the street from the park but it takes us 15 minutes to get to the playground equipment, because he insists on pointing out every tree we pass and going over to pet it and admire it.
We took him to Colour Paradise a few weeks ago, a giant greenhouse that is so filled with beautiful plants that it will even impress the non-plant-obsessed among you. I have never seen Zach’s eyes get so big. Every fifteen seconds for an hour, a gleeful shout of “MANT!” rang out throughout the greenhouse, followed by one of us responding, “Yes! I see that. What a beautiful mant it is.” It was like Disneyworld, combined with the zoo, combined with a birthday party — but much, much cheaper than any of those things.
I will admit I also found myself getting a little over-excited. I am really the only member of the family that really LOVES tomatoes, and I somehow purchased NINE tomato seedlings for our little veggie garden on the deck. I also bought two different kinds of mint, although I avoided the variety with the sign that said “AGGRESSIVE PLANT! Use caution!” which made me laugh and laugh, because even though I assume they were referring to mint’s tendency to spread and take over entire gardens, it made me picture an 80-foot tall mint shrubbery looming terrifyingly over the city, the foolish scientists who created it fleeing for their lives, deeply regretting the lack of caution employed in the creation of such a monster.
Speaking of monsters, I just noticed that Luna chewed through my computer cord (which I had tossed, unplugged, down at the end of the couch) while I thought she was chewing on a bone. My charge is at 39%, so I guess it’s a good thing I already got a bunch of work done today. I suppose I will have to go read a book out on the deck. The struggle is real, my friends.