Real Estate

“Mom, can we grow some fresh herbs on the windowsill?” C—my culinary kid—asks me out of the blue. We live in a townhouse, and we have windows on only our north and south walls. We have one main window where plants will actually grow, our south-facing kitchen window, and thankfully, it is a picture window with a deep sill.

“Um, sorry,” comes the voice of W from the other room. “I’ve already reserved the windowsill for a science experiment.”

“Dude!” C replies (because for some unknown reason, boys always call each other “dude”). “You can’t reserve the windowsill!! What kind of ‘science experiment’ do you have planned that you can do in the kitchen anyway?” His attitude is typical of a 16 year old who knows everything, and it is designed to be off-putting to a younger brother. W doesn’t bother to respond. He knows he will be criticized and chastised for even thinking he could take over the windowsill. In fact, through his brother’s tone of voice, he already has been.

“You can’t claim the windowsill,” C continues on his rant. “All I want to do is grow some herbs. Herbs belong in the kitchen. We can use them for cooking… we can dry them… and, your science experiment… in the kitchen? Really?”

“Mom already said I could do my science experiment. On the windowsill.” W is quiet but firm in his response. Personally, while I remember him saying he wants to ionize soil to see if plants will grow better, I can’t remember any other experiment; so I am hoping that this is the one. The combination of the stress of single-handedly raising three teenagers and middle age is not always the most conducive to productive thought processes. Things get lost in my head more often than I would like to admit.

“W, remind me again which experiment you want to do? I remember several you mentioned recently,” and it’s true. There is always something brewing in the head of this kid. Newer, better, more effective ways to do whatever the task at hand. And unlike his Mama, he has no problem accessing his thoughts and ideas in his amazingly complex mind. Thankfully, I am right that he wants to test plants and soil.

“Why don’t you combine your projects?” I suggest. “We can see if herbs grow best in soil that is ionized as opposed to soil that isn’t.” I, of course, think this is the perfect solution to the problem, and one that will limit the clutter on my windowsill. My boys do not.

“I don’t want my herbs to be part of some science experiment! He can grow his own plants in his experimental soil!” Clearly, this discussion is going nowhere. At least nowhere positive.

“Well, that would be a way for you to both use the windowsill and to collaborate. Ionizing the soil isn’t going to hurt your herbs. It’s not like he’s using radiation or something hazardous.”

“No way, Mom!” C leaves the room, and W and I look at each other. I roll my eyes. It is going to take some convincing. Teens are tough that way. Once they know something (and by know, I mean yup, he’s the expert), it can be difficult to sway them otherwise. Experimental soil or not, it seems this is the most likely solution to the real estate issue.

Of course, there is another option. I could continue to hog the windowsill with my plants. I do, after all, pay the mortgage.

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