UPDATE: We got the seedling!

My daughter and I planting a tree.

So I decided to pick up a free seedling from the religious organization I talked about in a post a couple of days ago. I went back and forth on it.

You guys might think this is weird, but I tend to personify everything, and, well, the tree isn’t religious.

They never mentioned religion or asked for my information so I’m feeling better about it.

My daughter named the tree Lilly.


  1. says

    I have a large swampy area on my farm, where the seeds from local trees sprout and take off – only to die when they get heavy and fall over. One spring I went through with a bucket and muck boots and pulled up about 30 seedlings and re-planted them in one of the fields I am leaving fallow. That was my first year on the farm; now those trees are 30-40 feet tall and about the same width. Every winter I walk among them and marvel.

    • ashes says

      Wow, that’s really cool!

      Our neighborhood was developed in the 1950’s and I also marvel at the huge trees that line our streets. I wonder what it looked like when they were all first planted. My daughter and I go for walks and collect acorns, pinecones, leaves, seeds, etc. I love that she’s interested in nature even though we live in the middle of a city. 🙂

  2. yannoupoika says

    Happy for you! Your daughter looks happy too. May it grow well through the years. When we first moved into our home in Minnesota, we had a little stick of a Sunburst Honneylocust planted in our front yard. 34 years later, it is over 40 feet high and is a beautiful addition to our yard.

  3. says

    I have planted a lot of plants. Most of them fruit trees and berry bushes. I prefer to buy my plants from local farmers who have small businesses. This way I am supporting people I actually like. More importantly, small farmers have the best plants. For example, today I just ordered 12 peppermint plants from a local farmer. If I wanted to buy a peppermint plant from some corporation, they would only have a single mass produced cultivar. The farmer from whom I just got my peppermint plants has a collection of about 30 different peppermint cultivars, thus I got to be picky and choose whatever I like. As usually, given the wide choice, I couldn’t pick one and just got a whole bunch. I can just plant them all and see what I got afterwards.

    Also, why is your daughter wearing so much pink? I really hate how nowadays pretty much every girl I see anywhere is dressed in pink clothes. This is wrong. Parents shouldn’t be gendering colors. If clothing stores simply do not sell girl clothes in colors other than pink, you can give your daughter some item of boy clothing every now and then. I know it is already hard enough to raise a child in ways that oppose harmful social norms, but still, it would be useful to teach your kid that neither colors nor children’s clothes should be gendered.

    • ashes says

      Actually, my daughter picks out her own clothes.

      When she was a baby we went for more gender-neutral clothes. She wore a lot of yellows, greens, purples, navy, etc. About a year ago she wanted pink clothes when we went to the store. Now that’s all she will wear. She gets upset if all her pink clothes are dirty and she has to wear something else. Pink is her favorite color now. It’s like the gender-neutral thing backfired. It could be influenced by the other kids at daycare.

      My daughter doesn’t wear pink clothes because she’s a girl; she wears pink clothes because it’s her favorite color and it’s what she picks out.

      Don’t let the pink fool you though. She’s no delicate flower or pretty princess. She loves dinosaurs and getting dirty. She gets upset if I try to put anything in her hair.

      But really, with all the things you have to worry about as a parent, the color of clothes your kid wears is pretty far down on the list.

  4. Katydid says

    Congrats on the new seedling and may it grow tall and beautiful!

    @Andreas; in the USA it’s often very, very hard to buy neutral children’s clothes. The clothes for little boys are all Manly!Man! camo and burnt orange and dirt brown, and for the girls it’s PINK!!!! and SPARKLY!! It’s not much better for adults; I have a dog sport I participate in that calls for practical long pants; I have men’s pants in gray-brown (the best I could do) because women’s pants have no pockets/pockets too small to put your change in, much less your keys/are capri-cut. My rugged sandals for when I kayak are boys’ sandals in camo green because the women’s sandals in the exact same brand were pink and sparkly and not sturdy enough to be used in water.

    • ashes says

      Thank you!

      And also very true! I did put my daughter in boy’s clothes for a little while because she went through a stage where she really loved Star Wars. I couldn’t find any girl’s clothes with Darth Vader on them. That was her favorite character.

  5. publicola says

    May your tree live long and prosper. Kids go through so many phases–this is your daughter’s “pink” phase. Next week/month/year it could be, well, let your imagination run wild. It’s good you let her pick out her clothes– it gives her a positive sense of identity and control. Plus, it’s fun for both of you.

  6. Katydid says

    I took a Textual Analysis class in college, and periodically sites like Jezebel feature old Sears catalogs…and one thing that’s really struck me is how unisex children’s clothes were in the 1970s and even 1980s. Remember Garanimals? That was a children’s clothing line with brand-tags on them with little animals. Match the animals and you were guaranteed the clothes matched. In the 1970s the colors were olive, dirt brown, and harvest yellow for boys and girls alike (I look particularly hideous in these colors and all my school pictures make it look like I’ve got Consumption). In the 1980s, girls and boys alike wore primary colors–red, blue, green. Like a Lego set. and lots of overalls for some reason.

    The late 1990s was the start of the era of the girly-girl and manly-man. I remember being pregnant and everyone from friends to retail staff demanding to know what I was having because how could I possibly use a blanket or high chair or bassinet if I didn’t pick *the right color*? What I needed in a car seat was not safety as it was tanks or princess hats!

    The 2000s were the era of Barbie saying, “Math is hard, let’s go shopping!” and the glamour-shots dressup parties for little girls. Every mall seemed to have a store dedicated to parties for little girls where they’d get shellacked in makeup and dress up in heels and ultra-femmy clothes to get their picture taken.

    I had a little girl who liked both tea parties and paintball. And a little boy who liked both, too. They would play videogames against each other…and then go color together. They’d fight over the skateboards and over the Judy Moody (a series of books for young readers) books.

    I’m thrilled you let your daughter pick for herself what she’s going to wear. Keep letting her be her.

    • ashes says

      I was born in 1982 and I remember those clothes. When I look at my baby pictures I was never dressed in pink. I didn’t wear pink until I was in high school in the late 90’s. I went through a period where I wore pink all the time but I also went through a period where I wore black all the time. When you are growing up and exploring new things, your taste is constantly changing. My daughter likes to wear pink from head to toe but that might change in a month.

  7. says

    Here https://freethoughtblogs.com/andreasavester/2020/04/27/how-i-started-to-hate-pink-color/ I wrote my reasons for disliking gendered children’s clothes.

    Obviously, I am not criticizing you for letting your child pick specific clothes. Nor is there anything inherently wrong with an AFAB child liking pink color. Instead the problem is that when most boys wear boy clothes and most girls wear very differently looking girl clothes, then that contributes to a cis-normative environment. It establishes a norm dictating that boys and girls are expected to look differently. And trans or gender nonconforming children who have to grow up in such an environment can suffer a lot. At best, they will feel peer pressure to act according to the established gender norms. At worst, they will be bullied. Some trans kids even kill themselves. Granted, my own miserable experience of growing up in a cis-normative environment is something that happened two decades ago, and my country is pretty transphobic and homophobic. I hope things are better in the society in which your child is growing up now.

    But really, with all the things you have to worry about as a parent, the color of clothes your kid wears is pretty far down on the list.

    This statement is certainly factually true. Nonetheless, I still believe that gendered children’s clothes are a problem.

    • ashes says

      Your concern about the cis-normative environment is definitely valid. The city we live in is pretty religious but also very diverse. We are raising our daughter to be accepting, loving, and inclusive — not only to others but to herself as well.

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