Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lazy Days of Summer?

Today we went to the beach.

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The kids had SO much fun.

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And that's why I'm writing this.

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To remind myself that the whole point was for them to have fun.

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I forgot.

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Because taking four children to the beach is a lot of work.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

It Was Berry Fun

There are so many wonderful family traditions that I read about and think, "Oh! We should make that a tradition too." Apple orchards in the fall, maple tapping in the spring, ice skating and sledding in the bitterly cold, blustery, snowy winter, just to name a few. Some we adopt, some we don't, and some we let the kids do on their own while we sit in our warm house sipping hot chocolate.

Strawberry picking has been on my Traditions-to-Start list for a few years, but I always want to start the tradition too late in the season {you can read that last statement as: I forget until the strawberries are gone}. But this year we made it to a berry field just in time. We were literally picking berries in the last two hours of their strawberry season.

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Sean had to work that day so when the boy-who-couldn't-have-been-older-than-eleven asked me how many were in my "party" { doesn't feel like a party}, I told him five and he quickly lead us to a single row of bright red berries that we were to pick until we reached the end. And that was it. 

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Being a newbie strawberry picker, I still felt unequipped for the task at hand even after we'd heard the "instructions." But there were eight eyes staring at me, eight ears waiting for instructions. What's a mom to do? The same thing I do most of the time...make it up as I go along.

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With the box positioned in the middle of our "party," I instructed everyone to squat down, pick the red, non-squishy berries on either side them, place them GENTLY in the box, and notify me when they were done. They did. And we moved down our row like that, one six-foot section at a time until...

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someone had to go potty. Of all the options presented to us, the "trees on the other side of the corn field" seemed to be the most convenient. I'll spare you the details, but needless to say, here was another situation where I felt thoroughly unequipped to give instructions. 

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With all of our biological needs met, we headed back into the field and made our way down another row not nearly as full of berries as our original row, but this time we made it to the end.

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And it was definitely the end. They were done. It was hot. Everyone was sweaty, thirsty and hungry for more than the one berry they were allowed to eat while picking.

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We piled back into the car, paid for our berries and headed home to bake.

Before we went, I had visions of a freezer stocked with pies and jams and crumbles made from our oodles of berries. When we got home with our barely four pounds of strawberries, I was content with a single strawberry pie and relieved that I didn't have hours of baking ahead of me.

Despite a few complaints, we all had fun and are looking forward to annual strawberry picking. Yeah for traditions!