Teach Teens Discernment

Jaquelle Crowe | March 18, 2017

Killing houseplants runs in my family. My mom is the master plant murderer, at least when she’s indoors. Give her a garden outside and plants have a 99 percent better rate of survival. When we lived in British Columbia she had quite a thriving garden in our backyard. She even grew pumpkins one year. But put the lady in charge of a pot on the kitchen windowsill, and it’s planticide.

I recently discovered she’s passed along this evil power to me. Last month I dog-sat for my grandparents, and Grandpa left me a list of instructions for Kit, his puppy. “Oh yeah,” he added as an afterthought, “and maybe you could keep an eye on that plant while you’re here.” They came home three weeks later to a happy, healthy Kit. I had fed her full, kept her water bowl brimming, taken her on long walks, and provided heaps of treats and attention. The plant, on the other hand, was on death’s doorstep.

I tell you about this like it’s some sort of magical power Mom and I have. Like we do everything we can to keep a plant alive—give it sunlight, water it daily, mash in some Miracle-Gro, sing to it—and yet…

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