Lessons from Japanese Beetles


This year my husband and I decided to have a garden in our backyard. Most of our motivation was for my 4 year old. She loves flowers and plants and so when my sister got her gardening tools and some seeds for her birthday we “took the plunge”. It has been great. An extraordinary amount of work but great. Right before we left for a week at camp we discovered little creatures who love our garden as much as we do, the dreaded Japanese beetle. If nothing else I will hand it to these little suckers, they are persistent.

Since their arrival we have been out at least two or three times a day to “take care of” our little friends. It got old pretty much after the first day, okay the first time. If we don’t take care of the problem they will devour our green bean plants (I have even caught some rogue ones moving onto our tomato plants and our cucumbers). It is frustrating and annoying to have to go out several times a day to take care of them.

I got to thinking today after I came in from the first of my trips to tend to the garden, “I hate  this, why can’t they just go and leave this alone? Why do I have to do this every day and several times a day?” As I thought about it I realized that this is life. There are things that we have to do diligently everyday.

I found myself yelling at my kids this morning. I was going to do such a good job today of keeping my cool but then my son laughed at me when I was trying to communicate something serious to him, then he wouldn’t listen to me when I asked him to wash his hands, then my littlest one was playing in the water in the sink and not letting the older wash his hands. Before I knew it my voice was at a 10 and I was the ugly version of me. I found myself thinking, “Why do I have to deal with this everyday? Why can’t I just keep my cool all the time?” The truth is that I don’t just decide to keep my cool and handle frustration like an adult, a mature adult, and that is the end of it. It is something I have to work at everyday, all day.

Assuming that the damage that has already occurred to our green beans plant isn’t too bad, we will have a crop of green beans soon. I am looking forward to that. I think they will be even better than I imagined because I was diligent in getting rid of the beetles. I think that as my kids learn to interact with each other and they don’t scream but remain calm and talk with gentleness and patience that this too will be better than I imagined because I was diligent in modeling that to them.


2 thoughts on “Lessons from Japanese Beetles

  1. Jonathan Grunden

    Great post Andrea. You should write more frequently. I also think it’s funny that Google attached an insecticide ad to your post about JBs

  2. sarah anne

    Your garden made it into my bruschetta last night for Picnic pops … it turned out to be a huge hit!! I thank Ellie for this 🙂

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