When I was about 3 or 4, my godparents would come to visit us in the summer. They drove all the way from California to New Mexico. They had some wonderful ideas for keeping me busy. One day, and I remember this vividly, they handed me a packet of seeds, and they told me to go outside and plant the seeds. I ran all over the backyard looking for a place to grow my plants. I finally settled on my sandbox. It took a while, but I poked holes in the sand, and carefully planted each seed in the holes. I was really busy that that afternoon!
I couldn’t turn on the hose to water my plants, so my godfather came outside, and turned on the hose for me. I watered and watered and watered. Of course, when it was nap time, I came in covered in wet, New Mexico dirt and sand. So, before I allowed to take a nap, and I was tired then, I had to take a quick bath. I barely made it out of the tub before I fell asleep.
In my dreams, I saw huge plants growing in my sandbox! There were apple trees, peach trees, pinto bean trees, and potato trees! I loved to eat potatoes! The trees had vines and flowers! The flowers were all different colors! The flowers were huge, even bigger than my head! The beans and potatoes were so big that they couldn’t fit in my hands, and they were heavy, too! In the distance, I could see Jesus smiling at my garden! It was one of the most wonderful dreams I have ever had!
I finally woke up. I could smell supper cooking. I thought I smelled enchiladas and beans, and someone was frying potatoes! I jumped out of bed and ran to the kitchen. My mother said, “Have you checked your garden? I wonder if anything grew?”
I ran outside without even kissing anyone good afternoon, and there weren’t any trees growing with beans or potatoes or anything else. I almost started to cry. No where in the backyard was anything that looked like the garden I saw. My lips went into a pout, and I turned around. There, in my sandbox, was something that had grown. I ran to the sandbox and picked up what was there.
I grew a green chile pepper. I grew an apple. I grew a banana! Wow! This was better than my dreams! I ran into the house with the harvest! My godparents were sitting at the kitchen table peeling more potatoes. Company was coming. I had no words I was so excited! Little did I know they had been watching out the screendoor and taking pictures.
“What did you grow,” my grandmother asked. I showed her everything in my hands. “Do you think we can use these for supper?” she asked me. I was so excited, I could only whisper, “yes.” I gave her these treasures, then I realized, I didn’t grow any potatoes! I started to cry. They all looked at me with open mouths.
“What’s the matter?” my mother said. I was gasping for air I was so upset. “I – I – I planted all the seeds, and I didn’t grow any potatoes! God made potatoes, too!”
My godmother saved the day. “Oh, dear!” she said. “I hope you don’t mind, but we needed extra potatoes, so I went out and picked your potatoes before you got up from your nap.” Huh? It was like a needle scratching on a record. “You’re cooking my potatoes?” She nodded, “Yes, we are. Is that ok?” I nodded as fast as I could! “Can I have some now? I’m really, really, really hungry now?”
Well, we all learned moral lessons that day. 1) Never tell a lie, especially to a little girl who was watching from the window as fruits and veggies were placed in the sandbox and 2) Even though you realize you have been out foxed by a little kid, don’t let them fill up on potatoes before supper.
Yes, we give thanks to God for potatoes and all the food with which we are blessed, but, even when we mean well, things happen. It was still a great memory for me. I loved those people! Family, there’s nothing like it, and, potatoes, I still love them, too!
Bless us, Oh Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to received from Thy bounty through Christ, Our Lord, Amen.