Meet one of my scarecrows. His name is Eddie.*
Eddie is a motion-sensitive sprinkler. When something moves in the garden, like birds or critters, Eddie spouts off. He varies the patterns and duration of his spray each time, to keep his air of mystery—and to keep the birds and critters guessing.
Eddie has a sensitivity knob. His motion detecting can go from a 1 (least sensitive) to a 10 (the wind blows, and he spurts). A sensitivity setting of about a 7½ is sufficient for our tiny garden. So far, Eddie’s doing a great job. I haven’t seen any squirrel-dug holes in the raised beds recently.
Eddie’s sensitivity doesn’t encompass the entire back yard, tiny as it is, so he has a partner. Franco* keeps an eye out from the opposite corner of the yard. Franco is a motion-sensitive sprinkler just like Eddie, with a sensitivity knob and the same job to do: protect the garden from unwelcome intruders.
You’d think both Eddie and Franco’s sensitivity knobs should be set at the same number, right? (Here’s where the scarecrows have been schooling me.) Eddie guards the part of the yard closest to the house, away from the trees behind our fence. Franco guards the part of the yard near the back fence, where the trees’ leaves and branches frequently fall. There’s also a wind chime that hangs almost directly over Franco’s head. Franco’s corner of the yard experiences more movement than Eddie’s does, so Franco’s sensitivity knob needs to be set to a slightly different level than Eddie’s sensitivity knob. By trial and error, we’ve found the best setting for both scarecrow sprinklers, and the garden is well guarded.
The scarecrows Eddie and Franco remind me of my husband and me as we parent our daughter. Michael’s sensitivity knob sits at a different setting than mine does. There are times when I jump to alarm at every little nonverbal cue I think Cami might be giving and I end up hovering (yes, I am a recovering helicopter mom). Just the same, there are times when Michael misses the subtext in Cami’s body language and her feelings end up hurt or misunderstood. Each of us have different approaches and bring different filters to our family life together. We don’t always get it right. Through trial and error, though, we’re getting it right many more times than we’re messing it up. Cami needs both of us, even when our sensitivity knobs are at different settings. Together, we make a good team.
Looking forward to a bountiful harvest,
*Michael named the scarecrow sprinklers. Just sayin’.