...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Strawberry Season

Strawberries are one of the most coveted food sources of my family. If we buy two pints of strawberries at the local food store, they're usually gone before all of the groceries have been brought into the house. And then the boys clamor for more the rest of the week. But nothing, I mean nothing, beats the taste of sun ripened, just picked off the vine by your very own hands, fresh as you can get, strawberries. Everything else pales in comparison. It makes the strawberries in food stores taste like cardboard.

Fortunately for us, we have a kick ass local farm stand literally a minute from Xavier's school and starting mid-April they open up their pick your own strawberry patches. I am writing this in April (sorry for the late publishing but I didn't want to spam blogs) and we just got back from our first strawberry picking expedition of the season.

our ginormous bucket of fantastic strawberries. No, you can't have any! MINE!!

After school today I whipped over to the berry patch with three excited kids, all of us ready to gorge on strawberries until our stomachs were crying out in pleasured agony. I grabbed one of the giant buckets they offer, refusing to allow each boy their own. While technically we "could" have easily eaten $40 worth of strawberries, I didn't feel like paying that much and dealing with juicy red poop for the next week. One bucket it was, to the disappointment of my spawnlings.

We headed over to one of the rows and I loosed the boys with a whoop and they took off. Until a butterfly gently floated by Xavier, and he freaked out, remembering that he hates bugs of any kind. Instantly he ran back to me and started up a commentary about each passing insect as I slowly made my way down the row, searching for ripe berries.

"OOOOOOH, go away spider!!!"
"That's not a spider, that's an ant."
"Seriously???? It's gotta be the biggest ant ever!"
"Ummm, it's normal size. Move over, you're blocking the berries."
Ashe (yelling three rows over): "MOM! I GOT ONE!" I smile and wave. Soren's two rows away, popping berry after berry in his mouth. He notices me looking at him and grins, red juice and mashed berries dripping down his chin.

"Holy cow! That butterfly almost ran into me! Can butterfly's be dangerous????"
"Ahhh, no."
"Xavier, do butterflies look like they can hurt you?"
"I don't know."

Ashe (yelling four rows over): "MOM! I GOT ANOTHER!!!"" I smile and wave. Soren's still popping berries in his mouth. I'm glad I put him in a dark shirt today.

"Xavier, that's not a wolf spider."
"How do you know???? It could be!!!"
"You know what? Since you're not picking any berries, and obviously you're not having fun out here, why don't you wait for us by the car? We won't be much longer."
"I'm having fun!!!"
"......Really, dude?"
"Really. I just don't want to pick strawberries anymore."
"You haven't picked any."
"I'm ok with that."

After filling the ginormous bucket in 15 minutes, the boys and I head back to the stand to pay. As we step in line Xavier starts telling me how he wants to be a farmer when he grows up, and he's going to not only have a strawberry farm, but he'll also raise dragonflies and bees, and possibly even some butterflies. I just stare at him in bewilderment, wondering if he's on drugs. This, coming from the kid who merely minutes ago, was ready to jump into my arms when a dragonfly raced by a full row away. Instead of asking him where his stash is and could I have some, I instead smile hesitantly, and tell him I'll be the first in line to pick strawberries at his farm.

Oh yeah, the strawberries are already almost gone. And we've only been home for an hour.

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