Picking berries (dreams come true)

Every year in Michigan, March arrives with promises of warming temperatures, budding flowers, and a long awaited spring.

And every year we forget that in Michigan, March is still winter.

So is April.

Spring in Michigan is so much less a season of slow, cheerful warming and so much more a season of surprise snowstorm devastation. Just when we've switched our wardrobes over, pulled out our shorts, and put our pants away, we get a nasty, cold surprise. If you take a peak into the coat closet of any Michigander in April, you will find snow pants, a down filled coat, a rain coat, a spring jacket, a windbreaker, and a sweatshirt. Because you just.never.know.

But today, my friends, as the sun sets on June 20th we raise our fists together in a cheer of solidarity because we have made it. It is spring no more. We sweep the salt off our boot racks and put away our wool socks because summer has arrived at last.

Hello Michigan Summer.
Hello 80* weather.
Hello sand and swimming.
Hello flips flops and tank tops.
Hello sunscreen and sunglasses.
Hello camping and late night bonfires.

And today? Hello strawberry season. We've been waiting for your sweet and sticky, your ripe and red, your warm bites and your summery smell.

I've been waiting for you. I've been waiting for years to walk down your straw laden rows with a little hand in mine, to crouch down beside my child in breathless surprise as we push back your leaves to reveal your fruit, and to watch the wide eyed surprise on my little one's face when the realization of eating those sweet red berries settles in.

You, strawberry season, were worth the wait.

His first bite was like this:

Me: "Arie taste this berry! You can eat it!"

Arie: *looks at my skeptically. Gingerly takes the berry from my hand*

Me: Go ahead; take a bite.

Arie: *nibbles.... shakes his head no...*

Me: *takes the berry from him* "You don't like it?"

Arie: *eyes get really big* "I LIKE IT!!!" *grabs the berry back and stuffs the whole thing in his mouth*

I guess the taste buds took a second to register the goodness, but after that it was eat.eat.eat.

Actually it was eat.eat.eat for a few minutes until Arie saw my friend Keith and I throwing stems and rotten berries back into the bushes. Then I guess Arie thought he was doing it wrong, so he began a process of picking, taking one bite, and then chucking the berry back into the bush.

We gave up on explaining his error after about three tries.

There are now three dozen half eaten berries in that field. I hope the other pickers aren't confused.

After picking we spend a few minutes checking out the tractor and then paid for our pickings.

 Arie begged us for "more berries!!" the whole way home.

I dreamed about this day for so long. Motherhood is hard in a lot of ways, you guys, but can I tell you something else? It's also filled with dreams come true.

Thanking God for an hour of hope, fulfilled with my precious little boy.



  1. Anonymous6/20/2013

    Your michigan seasons sound alot like our nh ones!!!! Lol. Even on june 20th ill still have my winter jacket hanging in my closet. Lol. Its crazy. The seasons always surprise us!

    1. Yes they do! I try to tell myself that it only makes us appreciate the changing seasons more. Although I wish summer was maybe a month or two longer. Cherish it while it lasts, right?? ;-)

  2. Love it Love it! And great call with the Red Shirt!

    1. Totally made that call after reading your post! Ha!

  3. I love watching my children experiencing new things! I love to see their eyes studying and the awe in which they learn new things. It makes all the days that are hard so very, very worth it. Great job thinking ahead and putting a red shirt on him! The first time I took my son berry picking I dressed him in white. ALL WHITE! Lesson learned...


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