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Just Today . . .

My daughers, Aimee, 3, and Christina, 25, pose with Angie, now 1.

My daughers, Aimee, 3, and Christina, 25, pose with Angie, now 1.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes last week for Angie, our 1-year-old daughter for whom I wrote this lawn care Manifesto one year ago tomorrow. It’s a horrible cliche to say I “can’t believe a year has passed already,” but, well, that’s how cliches happen . . . because they’re true.

Just today . . .
Angie has amazed us with her ability to climb up into a chair and then onto the table, where she — broadly proud of herself — danced close to the edge while humming something that sounded remotely like Love Me Do. She ate a cookie that she found under the sofa from last week, and then soon had me diving from a chair to recover the nickel that had fallen from my pocket only to wind up in her mouth.

Just today . . .
I found myself yelling at her loudly for the very first time after she had dug into a potted plant for the third time in an hour. Her resulting tears left me feeling worse than she would had she eaten a whole little handful of organic soil — but unfortunately in this world of ours she needs to learn that not all soil is safe.

Just today . . .
I’m not sure what other adventures Angie will get into, but I do know there will be many. It’s exhausting to think about.

I shared a laugh, just yesterday, with my oldest daughter, Christina, as she watched Angie navigate her first birthday party at the lake. Christina was part of a team of people trying to keep Angie out of the water, away from the dock, not touching the gas grill, not eating the pebbles, the flowers and the dog toys. Angie did drink from the dog’s water bowl, but the dog didn’t seem to mind.

“See how lucky you are to be alive,” I said to Christina.

“I see what you mean,” she said.

At least the lawn was organic, though. When the little fist fulls of clover and grass wound up in her mouth and on her face, no one cared. It really was, as our new slogan says, safe to play.

So in honor of Angie’s first birthday, I hereby renew my pledge to take the SafeLawns message far and wide. So few things can be controlled in our children’s worlds; what we apply to our lawns, however, happens to be one of them.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

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