It was perfect strawberry picking weather. It was warm but not blistering hot. There was a slight breeze that lifted the leaves to show the bright red fruit hiding underneath, it played with my baby’s curls and blew my bangs out of my eyes. My girls ran up and down the rows of strawberries, they chatted with the other pickers who thought it was darling to have two little girls picking strawberries. I smiled back and soaked in the moment.
It was what I wanted to do. It was how I grew up, if we had strawberry jam it was because we made it and picked all the berries. I balked at it sometimes then (sorry, Mom!) but I’m so grateful for the way we were raised. I want my girls to have the same farm to fork experience I had. I want them to know the sweet, sun-filled taste of a strawberry picked from the field. I want them to know the excitement we feel every June when the first of the strawberries appear in the farm market and we have strawberry shortcake, snack on strawberries, and eat strawberries in any way we can for as long as they last.
It was our second time out in the field this summer. We had ventured earlier out on a drizzly day- me determined to pick our strawberries, my girls entranced by the strawberry field and all the dirt. They ran, they trampled over a few plants, they tasted and then spat out the green berries. They picked a few, ate a lot and generally enjoyed themselves. I took a few pictures and then instagrammed our experience. I tagged it #eatlocal and #motherboldly.
But if I’m honest, I was a grumpy mom that first picking of the strawberries. It was a bold and brave thing to take my littles to the strawberry patch. I was excited and then promptly forget how very little they are and how very exciting fields of dirt are to little ones. I got frustrated, I got upset and I got a few berries.
I wanted to go back and pick berries again with my littles. I wanted to say ‘kerplink, kerplonk, kerplunk’ with the strawberries in our little green baskets. I wanted to call them my little Sal and soak up their littleness, the mess and the chaos that picking strawberries with two littles three and under is.
And I did. We picked berries, lots of berries. We laughed together. I picked berries on all fours with a little on my back. I let them run and say hello to the other pickers, I answered their endless questions of why, why, why. I bought them ice-cream on the way home and bathed them after they had lunched on a princess lunch of strawberries and cream.
I want to mother boldly. I want to venture out with bravery, new challenges, and new places. And I want to remember how very little my girls are and how very big the world is to them. Together we will embrace it all, with boldness, bravery, and lots of laughter.
I wrote this post last summer and I’m still repeating that mantra to myself- mother boldly, mother well.