Saturday, July 28, 2018

Think she was trying to tell me something?

Growing Up HERBIE

Molly Sams
Jan/Feb 2007 TEH and By the Hearth compilation
             Now, before you start writing nasty letters, e-mails, and such to my mother about her awful daughter, let me explain why I wrote this article.

              For as long as I can remember I’ve had flash backs about having to stop on the side of a highway and risk my life to grab a small unknown herb, wildflower, or berry for my mom. I’ve also remembered the days where instead of using regular medicines to cure my cold mom used “crazy voodoo magic”. This article is simply to show things you should avoid doing to spare your child from embarrassment and possibly permanent emotional and physical scarring even if you’re addicted to doing strange, sometimes smelly things in the kitchen with herbs from your garden.

One of the things you may want  to avoid doing is giving your child licorice root for their sore throats. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked by my classmates “Why are you chewing on a twig?” or “Doesn’t that taste bad?” and I have many a silly nickname like, “hippie” or “tree-hugger” but every now and then “tree-eater” will come up. 

In fact, medicinal herbs and young children just don’t mix well at all.  Once they get to be about eleven or twelve they will be fine with taking tinctures and what not but until then good luck trying to get them to drink it. I can’t count the wrestling matches mom and I had to get me to take anything (even “normal” medicine) and it usually ended up all over me instead of in my stomach.

Another thing is going to herb festivals. I don’t have anything against them now and actually kind of like them so maybe other children (more girls than boys probably) will too, and if you go to one I’d suggest bringing your teenager. It gives you both a good time to bond and they may learn a lot from you or maybe you learn a lot about them. If you have a little one its risky bringing them because if they don’t have something to entertain them I promise you they’ll complain the entire time. But if you bring them you can teach them a lot. Show them stuff that smells, taste, or feels cool. I remember when I was a wee one I really liked lamb’s ear for example.

Probably one of the most important things to remember is please do not use your child as a guinea pig. Your children love you very much and will do a lot for you but I know I speak for a lot of kids when I ask you not to put lavender oil on us to cure our sunburns. Another awful thing to test is how your homemade lotions, perfumes, soaps, and other neat stuff work. I’m very, very proud of my mom and all the nifty stuff she makes and its never happened to me yet, knock on wood, but some may have irritating and possibly painful reactions to some of the concoctions.

Finally, yes, I know I told you more of what to avoid then what to do with your children when it comes to herbs so I guess I should tell you some good stuff about having an herb crazy mother.
Please, if you want to show your kid how awesome herbs are and how much they can do, have them help or work with you on stuff. You can do a lot, go on a hike, or make some soap or something with them. If cooking is more your thing, you two can make some herbal tea or something crazy in the kitchen and have everyone eat it. You can always have a totally organic and spiced up dinner or maybe have a party where you can all have friends over and decorate with herbs, make food with herbs, and maybe make a little gift bag with herbal bath stuff or other neat body stuff.
That’s it for now. I hope you’ll enjoy and get ideas from this!

Mom’s note…
I thought it might be interesting to see how my daughter felt about her childhood experiences and told her not to hold back.  Perhaps I should have re-thought that, being as she IS heading towards 16. 

Additional note:  At 20, she realized how much she loved herbs and began studying them in earnest.  Still going strong at 27.

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