Since Jack missed out on last week's picking adventure, we decided that for their first day of summer vacation the three of us would celebrate by going back to the strawberry farm. There is only a week of strawberry season left -- if that -- and the next few days are silly busy with Canada Day celebrations, a day trip to a friend's cottage and then a weekend of fishing with dad, his brother and the cousins.
And yes, I'm really looking forward to getting back to our slower pace of living next week.
What I love about trips like this is the opportunity to observe how different my kids are in the same situation and how their individual personalities and styles-of-being manifest.
Jack took a somewhat relaxed attitude towards picking, being completely at ease working close to the earth.
Ella, on the other hand, who's already done this picking thing before, decided that today would be a day of whirly-girly silliness. No armed picking? No problem. Goofy girl.
When placed in a new situation, Jack has always been my quiet observer; watching, assimilating information and then taking careful, purposeful action. I could see this today as he gently picked through the strawberry plants, looking for the "ruby red" berries, and asking several times, "Is this one okay, mum?"
Of course, it didn't take him long to get the hang of picking and he quickly filled his allotted basket with "nature's candy," as he called it.
Unfortunately, Ella's whirly-girly silliness quickly got a bit out of hand. Perhaps I'm a bit of a stickler here but a u-pick farm, in my humble opinion, is not a playground (or a race track or a hurdle course) and the picking area should be respected as a source of our food and of a farmer's livelihood. Ella didn't agree with my assessment and quickly deteriorated into a whiny, obstinate little creature.
Please tell me I'm not the only parent to ever order a time-out at a u-pick.
Thankfully, the sulkiness didn't last long and once again I had a crew of happy pickers.
It's a good thing too because we had a lot of strawberries to pick today!
Not a bad harvest -- just over 20 lbs.
Now all I need is an extra set of hands, or two, to help me make another three batches of jam. And then we need to prepare the berries for the freezer and the dehydrator and then we can make some fruit leather and...
What do you mean you're off duty? What do you think this is... summer vacation or something?