The Natalie Tree

Jenna's family has a tradition that I enjoy very much. Every time a child was born, her parents planted a tree for them. She and her two sisters each have their own tree in the yard where they grew up (and where her parents still live). This weekend we planted Natalie's tree.

Since we obviously waited a couple of years before planting our daughter's tree, Natalie was able to help. The top photo above is my favorite since she appears to be wiping her brow from exertion while I bend to the task of digging a hole in our nearly impenetrably rocky soil. In fact, she barely touched blade to dirt before sighing, "never mind," and dragging her shovel back to the garage.

Here she is posing while Lola stares hopefully at the snack in her hand. The tree is a dwarf North Star, a sour cherry tree (the sweet varieties won't grow outside in Minnesota). I'm hoping for pretty spring blossoms and pie filling. And now Natalie has a tree of her own. Will it stand alone or become a small orchard? We have a few years left to figure that out.

Clever girl

A recent bath time conversation. Natalie suddenly tosses one of her toy boats across the room. I pick it up and return it to the bathtub.
"Don't throw the boat, Natalie. Please keep your toys in the tub."
Natalie stares down at her feet, sullenly. I wonder if she is going to cry or mope but she seems to just be deep in thought. After a moment her faces brightens and she looks up again with a smile. "Play game!" she says.
"OK," I say, relieved for the change of topic, "what game do you want to play?"
"Boat throw!"