Strawberries with My Son

16 Jun

This morning my 19 -month-old son Toby and I went to the farm. So far, I think it has rained every time we’ve gone and we haven’t been able to take advantage of the u-pick fruits and veggies. Normally we go in the afternoon to pick up our share at the shop but after hearing the weather forecast calling for rain yet again, I decided we needed to seize the moment and go pick some strawberries.

I wasn’t sure what Toby would think – if he would get bored, if he would stomp all over the strawberries.  At first he was very hesitant, watching me carefully as I a picked some berries and put them in the basket. Then he cautiously brushed his hands through the leaves and berries himself.  At first I don’t think Toby  made the connection. But then, I popped one in his mouth. The look of wonder on his face was priceless. It moved me so much I almost could have cried. He got really excited then and kept asking for more. I gave him his own basket with some berries in it. He promptly sat down between the rows of strawberries and gobbled them all. Eventually he got brave enough to pick some himself and even copied me, plucking the green stems off before eating them. After Toby ate probably double what we were allotted in our share this week, I thought it best to call it quits before he gave himself a stomachache. Leaving the strawberry field was tricky. How do you explain to a toddler that the strawberries are “all done” when he is standing in an enormous field abundant with perfect, ripe, lusciously red berries? I tried to get him excited about going to pick peas. He was only somewhat convinced. When we got over to the rows of sugar snap peas I picked a big fat one and handed it to Toby. He took a tentative nibble off the end and then threw the rest in the dirt. Trying another tactic, I split one of the shells open and showed Toby the row of peas inside. There was that look of wonder again!

It is times like these I am so grateful for where we live and that I have the ability to give my son this opportunity to learn exactly where his food comes from first hand.  Even at this young age, I know he is getting something out of this experience. The look of curiosity and wonderment when he was eating food right off the vine today is proof to me.

I think too often I put a lot of pressure on myself to do better or do more. I hold myself to impossibly high standards and make promises to myself that I have a hard time keeping. Spending some time at the farm this morning with Toby was a much needed reminder of how we are living according to our values and it feels really good. This is something I know I am doing right!

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One Response to “Strawberries with My Son”

  1. Kate June 16, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    E-
    I really enjoyed this post. I think one of the best parts of being a parent is being able to introduce your child to something new (to them) and having them remind us/show us how wonderous those things are. Bryson discovered running water today (from the faucet) – his fascination made me think about how amazing it really is that water flows into a sink in my house when I lift a handle. And just for the record – you are doing plenty of other things “right” in your child rearing as well.

    Much love,
    Kate

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