One of my earliest memories was of staring out the window of a daycare provider’s house, wondering how I ended up at this strange place. She had a spider plant and one day, along with handing me over, she gave my mom a baby from this plant. If you’ve never had a spider plant, know this; There is no need to ever buy a spider plant. They are prolific at reproduction -- think bunnies of botany -- foisting their babies into the world with seeming abandon. Even half-dead plants are known to keep squeezing out the offspring. Save yourself some cash by finding a friend who has one of these plants and relieve them of some babies.
Anyway, that baby spider plant, having found itself in the care of a military family, was to become a very well-traveled specimen. We moved from the plant’s (and my own) birthplace of Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Morris, Illinois, then back to North Carolina, and back again to Illinois. Baring agricultural restrictions (sorry, no travels to Hawaii or Germany, spider plant), and the addition of new family members, this plant has survived every move and has maintained its status as a member of the crew for almost as long as I have.
When the plant couldn’t accompany the family, loved ones would take care of it for the duration of the assignments. While the spider plant missed out on other locations such as California or Maryland, it has always ended up back in my mom’s care. Generations of babies from that plant have gone to new homes, and into the stomachs of the family cats. When I was caring for the plant for my parents while they lived in Germany, I decided to carry on the family tradition, and propagated some of the babies for my own household. The now momma plant is enjoying retirement, putting down roots in Virginia with my parents, and I have my own baby plant sitting on a window sill in my office in Connecticut.
This past Christmas, I gifted my children’s daycare provider a baby from my spider plant, coming full circle. I still catch myself staring out the window, and at the spider plant, contemplating how we have ended up where we are now.
Lainey is a writer, a mom, and dabbler in sustainability in the exurban woods of Connecticut. Visit Lainey's personal blog at www.dabblinggreen.com.