Erin Spatz: Picking strawberries

  • Tuesday, April 17, 2012

  • Updated Tuesday, April 17, 2012 7:21 pm

On the last day of spring break, I summoned my courage and drove 45 minutes to pick strawberries with my kids.

When I was a kid, my family and I would go to a farm nearby and pick strawberries, beans and tomatoes.

I loved going and thought it was fun to find the biggest and best of whatever it was we were picking.

The only one of my kids who was even remotely excited was Denver and he, bless his heart, gets excited by a new roll of scotch tape.

While the other kids were not complaining, I could see it on their faces that this was not their first choice of “fun” outings.

At one point I even pondered letting Dylan go to work with Eric since his lack of excitement made Eeyore look cheerful.

Eric, however, convinced him to pick strawberries for his Aunt Hottie and since he had a job to do it made him a bit more pleasant.

So, I loaded up my sweet gaggle of ducklings and off we went!

We arrived at the strawberry farm and I got everyone out and passed out the strawberry picking buckets.

I then gave the following instructions:

“Pick only the ones that are all red, no green or white on them. Please do not pull up the plant, we ONLY need the strawberry.”
They all answered, “Yes Ma’am”.

But then Denver decided to add his two cents of advice:   “Guys, stay away from the bees, they are still pollinating. They are grumpy and will sting you.”

Good advice.

We hit the fields with all the excitement of a dental exam (which I actually like.)

And then something happened, they started getting into it.

Who has the reddest one, or the juiciest one and even who has the biggest one?

 At one point it was the “how fast can I fill my bucket with good ones?” race.

They were laughing and enjoying each other and when Chandler sat on what I can only assume was the world’s biggest strawberry and said very loudly, “OH DEAR!” they all laughed.

Once we had picked 26 pounds of strawberries, more or less the same weight of Chandler, we drove over to see the animals on the farm and shop a bit in the farm’s cute store.

I’m pretty sure this farm has the biggest pig in South Carolina.

I bought each of the kids a chocolate chip cookie and lunch.

We loaded up and headed home.

The outing which I thought was going to be a lot of work and which no one but Denver wanted to do, turned into a sweet memory.

And it reminded me of why even though sometimes it’s hard to be the mom, the fun almost always outweighs the work.

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