Despite the fact I probably make it sound like I live on some sort of urban farm, we only have a fairly small back garden. However my Mum and Dad are both amazing gardeners, and have managed to cram so much good stuff into such a small space. Including beans. I'm not even sure what type of bean they are. They always remind me of childhood though, as my Nanny and Grandad had a machine that sliced them - you fed these same beans into the top, and turned a handle, and they came out the bottom neatly sliced. And now we grow those beans in our garden. And one day I will grow them in my garden and my (almost certainly non-existent/adopted) children will turn the handle on a machine that slices them into pieces. Anyway, I digress.
I haven't properly mentioned that we sometimes childmind one of our neighbours' six year old daughter, Phoebe. Now everyone knows how I feel about children. I really don't like them. They annoy me with their whining, and screaming, and general inability to look after themselves. The only two exceptions to this rule are Lily (my best friends baby girl, and the light of my life), and Phoebe. So Phoebe came over, and spotted the beans growing in the garden. Together we picked some and carefully opened a few to look at the beans inside. Seriously, you have never seen a kid so excited about anything. It was like Christmas morning, but with beans instead of presents! She counted every last individual bean, then lined them up in rows from biggest to smallest.
If I do ever, by some miracle, end up with children, they will be brought up to appreciate the little things, just like I was. My parents never had much money, but what they always had in abundance was time and patience and ideas. We went on nature walks, we picked conkers, we ate picnics, we made cakes, we collected caterpillars, we painted, we made clay ornaments, we swam in rivers, we ate wild berries, we rode on buses, we read books. It was an idyllic childhood and okay, we wore secondhand clothes, and we didn't have fancy toys, but I wouldn't change a single thing about it because I always had everything I needed.