More Than Just Strawberries

Thursday was the official first day of summer for us and we celebrated with a trip to a local pick your own strawberries farm.  All of the kids were excited (especially Becky and Huck since they each had a friend along for the trip).  Me too; I haven't been strawberry picking since before the kids were born (when Knute and I lived in Virginia).

I did my share of picking but I managed to take some pictures as well (gotta love the handy dandy iPhone). Since I had about ten pounds of strawberries to clean when we got home (rest assured, there are now about eight pounds less), I didn't look at the pictures until today.

Becky loved picking strawberries; honestly, the girl would've stayed out in the field for another hour if I had let her.  Several times, I looked up from my own row, doing a quick head count, and saw her down in the dirt on the far side of the field, head down, busy with the hard work of finding strawberries at the end of the season (hint: you gotta get dirty, crawl around, and push through the leaves).  She was engrossed in her work, focused and happy at her task.

Huck was busy, too, racing down one row to another, filling his bucket faster than anyone else.  When he came over to where I was working, I realized why he finished before anyone else.  While his enthusiasm was boundless, his picking skills were lacking.  If it was pickable - white berries, mushy berries, nibbled-on-by-rabbits-berries  - he grabbed it.  I had to scoop out several handfuls when he wasn't looking. 

This one (see him standing right by me, looking around?) says it all.  Little Tom, he of the big booming voice and double-dog-dare outlook on life, didn't leave my side.  His basket is nearly empty (all the berries he had in it later were courtesy of moi) because he was a little nervous about getting down in the berry plants.  There might be bugs in there, or worse, spiders. For all his bravado and bluster, Tom still is my little guy, still wants and needs the reassurance of my presence in new situations.

Funny what a trip to the strawberry farm can tell you about your kids.

And while I tried my best to get rid of the icky berries before we weighed and paid for our haul, I did miss several.  Which was ok because mushy strawberries make the best Strawberry Bread.

What a great way - from the yummy berries to the insights about my kiddos - to start summer.

Oh, and yes, that is my big fat thumb on those pictures above.  8-)