Kale, Chaos and Kids


The reason I have an overwhelming amount of kale right now is because I was impatient. I planted more kale plants than I could possible need because I wanted to make sure that the first harvest was more than a mouthful. If you plant enough kale plants in the beginning then the first tiny leaves collected will equal an actual serving instead of a tiny, single, precious leaf that you eat triumphantly alone in the garden. If you are impatient in the beginning you become overwhelmed later. I have too much kale now. Kale is like zucchini in the middle of the summer. Everyone has it coming out of their ears and everyone tries to pawn it off on you to no avail. I now have kale guilt that is just mildly alleviated by the fact that I can feed it to the chickens who, honestly, are not all that interested in the kale and would really prefer a fresh loaf of bread or leftover spaghetti.

So this overwhelming kale issue has led me to think about all the other chaos that I’m wrapped up in right now due to the fact that I was impatient before. So much of the chaos is the child of impatience. Being too impatient to deal with something tedious one evening can sometimes snowball into a tremendous obstacle a few days later. Then the larger problem will take even more patience which we don’t have. The need for quick, simple and painless resolution can frequently result in a life of total chaos and more than a bit of dissatisfaction. When you add parenting into the mix it can be even worse!

I once met a woman who was so impatient with her chores that she said she spent the whole morning screaming at her kids to clean up after breakfast so that all the mess was cleaned up before they left for school. That’s the other side of impatience. Trying to get it all done now when there isn’t time is impatient. Trying to put it off until another time because we don’t have the patience for tedious work is impatient. All the impatience leads to more chaos which certainly leads to more impatience. Kids add to this mess quite a bit because they require additional nudges here and there to stay on the path, which also requires patience. It seems the whole world requires patience of one kind or another almost every moment of every day and it is the thing that we tend to be in short supply of in general.

I know the time has come to reassess my own impatience when I see an overwhelming pile of kale and a household filed with chaos. If for no other reason than for the wellbeing of my children, I need to work on better balance between the impatience of right this minute and the impatience of I can’t deal with this right now. I need to take a deep breath and a moment of reflection before the ingrained, impatient reaction causes more chaos and more kale down the line.

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