We're singing old camp songs and thinning arugula and I've got Sally all set up on a big yellow sheet my grandmother passed down to me with a whole truckload of toys. I'm bent over the rows; there's happy squealing; I'm thinking we're doing pretty well. Then things get quiet for a moment. I look over again, and Sally's giddily licking her fingers, which she's ceremoniously dipped in the dirt. She is not happy when I come over, rearrange the blanket, wipe the black off the chubby stubs.
We pick ourselves up and get back to thinning and studying the tag on our stuffed lion's bottom. I'm feeling like a bad mother—pay attention! constant attention—when I remember this sentence I read somewhere about how pigs suckled without access to dirt are anemic. Maybe Sally needs the iron in the soil? That's the theory we are operating under for now.
At any rate, fresh baby arugula for dinner with strong olive oil and lemon juice and feta. The first of spring's homegrown.