A Gardener Grew in Brooklyn

I originally posted this in June, 2012. This year Father’s Day and Judy’s birthday coincide, and the following day is our anniversary. With all this going on, it seemed like a good time to repost these thoughts on my father, gardening, and fatherhood.


I had a very nice Father’s Day. In the morning, Judy and I went to the Skokie Farmer’s Market for the first time this year. When we returned, we found our oldest son Daniel at our doorstep, bearing bagels. We sat on the porch through the late morning and into the afternoon, drinking coffee and eating bagels, talking about things serious and silly. During that time, our younger son David called from his apartment in St. Paul, Minnesota, and we had an excellent talk.

I count myself very lucky to have such good kids. Thinking about them on this day makes me think about my own father. Our relationship did not always go smoothly, but of course he influenced what I became as a person through ways intentional and not. He was the one who started me on the path to becoming a gardener.

Dad and Daniel at the Museum of Natural History. This picture is from around 1995. Dad and Daniel at the Museum of…

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8 Comments on “A Gardener Grew in Brooklyn”

  1. What a lovely post, your father sounds like a wonderful man, I suppose we all have our shortcomings but doing our best is the main thing. I love that pic of him with you….ahhhh
    Good to know you have such lovely boys and that they spend time with you! How lucky you are!
    Happy birthday to Judy and congratulations to you both on your anniversary…..xxx

  2. First, I hope you had a wonderful weekend of celebrations! Second, thanks for re-posting this because I think I missed it the first time. Your dad was similar to many dads of the time. (Mine was somewhat different, but my parents were kind of the opposite of most couples…long story.) It sounds like he was a complex character, which I guess most of us are. It’s great that he mellowed with time and was able to spend some quality time with you and his grandkids. I’m not surprised that your kids want to spend time with you, and I’m sure you’re a great dad. Happy Father’s Day and Anniversary, and Happy Birthday to Judy!

  3. Your father sounds a bit like my father. A generational thing, I suspect. Happy birthday to your wife, Her birthday is the same day as my mother’s, and what a beautiful day to have a birthday—the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. And, of course, happy Father’s Day to you!

  4. I really enjoyed this post about your dad Jason….the pictures were so wonderful as were your memories about the garden from when you were a boy. Life is an event in relationships….it is such a blessing that you have great kids who like to spend time with you. That is all I can hope for! Have a wonderful time with all of your celebrations!! Nicole

  5. What a lovely post, Jason. I don’t think any of us are “perfect parents,” but but love can make up for so many mistakes. My father and I didn’t always see eye to eye either, but I always knew–and still know–that family was the most important priority in his life.

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