Sunday, 29 June 2014

The reality of strawberry fields

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Phew. We made it. Summer has officially begun. 

These past couple of weeks have been insanely busy at school (hence, not having an ounce of time to sit and write in this lil' blog o' mine in forever)...but we're here, summer has arrived, and school is officially out until September. 

So with the sun shining and strawberry season in full swing, we decided to tag along with Jen and Jeff and go strawberry picking with the kids this weekend.   

They tasted just as good as they look.

But it's funny...because as I took a look through all of our pictures from that day, I realized that the pictures told a different kind of story than what really happened that day.

And it made me realize that we never usually take pictures of certain parts of our lives--and maybe we sometimes should.

In many ways, strawberry picking with the kids was exactly as the pictures show--a beautiful sunny day with kids in sun hats, slathered with sunscreen, excitedly holding their plastic buckets as they pulled deliciously ripe strawberries right off of the vine. Red fingers and juicy strawberry juice dripped from chins as they giggled to each other and ran through the strawberry fields. In so many ways it was exactly what the pictures show.

But what you don't see is the exhausted mom and dad...both of us so tired from being up all night, all week long with a sick baby (who was thankfully feeling better--but anyone who has ever looked after a sick baby before knows that the residual exhaustion takes days and days to be cured).

What you don't see is how we chased toddlers through our exhaustion, smiled when we felt miserable and picked sometimes only one strawberry at a time since one year old's like to you can never really do anything in one place for longer than a few seconds.
So you see that picture above? That's Carter in the orange shirt, just about to take off--getting his little legs ready to wear his tired mama out. That picture makes me laugh just looking at it--because years from now I might look at this picture and really believe that strawberry picking was so calm and relaxing...because there are no pictures of me chasing him down the fields, picking him up as he squirms and cries, redirecting him away from other people's perfectly picked strawberry buckets.

There were no pictures taken of the discussion with little people sitting on daddy's knee on the edge of our van in the parking lot, talking about the importance of changing their tone of voice (because when you're three years old there is still a lot of learning to do).

And there were certainly no pictures (thank goodness!) taken of me trying to convince my one yr old to PLEASE come out from the back of the van when I went back to get some wipes for sticky fingers. And if there were pictures taken, you would have seen a tired mom, sweating hot, climbing over huge car seats and picking up a squirming little boy who thought that with all of the fun right in front of him at the strawberry fields that it was even more fun to play in a sweltering hot van (because one year old's are funny like that).

So the strawberries? They were delicious. They were insanely delicious.
And the memories? We still made a ton.
But the reality? Well, I kinda wish now that I had said to Terry "Hey! Make sure you get a shot of my derrier as I'm climbing over car seats, sweating hot, okay? That'll be a good one for the baby book!".
I wish that I had thought to throw someone the camera as we ran exhausted through the fields after a little boy who thought that the strawberry fields were his playground. And I really wish that I now had a picture of a little 3yr old sitting on her daddy's knee in the parking lot of a strawberry field, getting some life lesson advice. Because that's really how it is.

And the real reality is that it won't always be this way.

I might one day actually have to wake up a sleepy teenage boy and drag him out of bed in the morning, because he's lost his 1yr old never-ending energy. And I might have to sit on the corner of a teenage girl's bed and give her a different kind of advice or just a shoulder to cry on...because one day she will unfortunately likely face more than what we can just solve on her daddy's knee in the parking lot of a strawberry field.

And when all else fails? ...Well, you let your parents take you out to dinner after strawberry picking when they offer--braving four little ones under the age of four at a fancy restaurant--and you come away feeling happy, fulfilled and inspired to pull out the camera more often, so you can capture all of your realities...because it will one day tell the story of your entire life.

Have a great weekend everyone,

Erica xo

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