Earlier today, I went to pickup our farm share on my way home from work. It was a truly beautiful day: sunny with temperatures in the mid 70's and a breeze. Living in the Northeast, it's only the third week of the season and it was the first time I had enough time to pickup my daughter before they closed.
For some reason, I was really excited to bring Maggie with me for our CSA pickup together. When we approached the tent to pickup our weekly produce, one of the farmers looked right at me and said "Are you feeling motivated?" It was just after 5pm on a Friday, but I lied and said "of course" with a smile.
Within minutes, Maggie and I were walking through a strawberry field with two empty quart containers. Part of me questioned how I was going to pull off filling two containers without a baby carrier/stroller and the other part of me got lost thinking about the last time I went strawberry picking.
It was about 15 or 16 years ago: my mom picked me up from school and we went to a pick your own strawberry patch about 75 miles northwest of where I was standing.
Earlier this week was the 13 year anniversary of my mom's passing. Not a day goes by without missing her and now that I'm a mother, I'm even more aware of her profound influence on my life.
I looked down at my daughter sitting near my feet and picked strawberries to fill our baskets, while she took them out and plopped them in the dirt. Instead of cringing at the bruised berries, I handed her my keys to play with.
If you would have told me 16 years ago I'd be giddy to be handed two empty baskets to fill with strawberries on a Friday evening with my 11 month old in tow, I probably would have laughed out loud.
It's the simplest things that bring the most joy as a mother; I will forever treasure the memory of our first strawberry picking adventure, unplanned and uneventful as it was.